Gold-Starred Chard

Oregon Chardonnay earns high marks

Sweet Cheeks 2015 Chardonnay, Willamette Valley

With brains, beauty and a touch of mystery, this Chard seduces. Passion fruit, guava, banana, pineapple, fruit cocktail, marzipan and orange herbal tea on the nose. Bright on the palate with flavors of almond and spiced vanilla plus a condensed dark note converging on savory, sweet and spice. Is it cola? Is it black tea? Did you empty the bottle attempting to decide? 
$25; 90 cases

Melrose 2013 Estate-Grown Chardonnay, Umpqua Valley

On the nose, the signature of banana and apple blend with sweet, nutty marzipan and dense, dusty juniper bark. A full palate experience offers buttery lemon curd and hints of honey, followed by lush, juicy acidity and a lengthy satisfying finish.
$25; 420 cases

Dobbes Family Estate 2013 Chardonnay, Willamette Valley

Opinions are often judged on the ending: books, movies, marriages. You’ll know this wine is good, but the finish makes it great. Aromas of pear skin, pineapple, tart berry and honeysuckle join flavors of lemon on the attack with zingy acid throughout. The finish is delightfully green-apple clean, herbaceously minty and mouthwatering with just-right salinity.
$26; 252 cases

Monte Ferro 2014 Dion Vineyard Chardonnay, Chehalem Mountains

This easy-drinker opens with the scent of vanilla, shortbread and ginger-spiced candied pears. Dried mango in the mouth meets tart green apple and transitions to sweeter caramelized apple notes on a clean, fine finish.
$17.50; 200 cases

Adelsheim 2014 Caitlin’s Reserve Chardonnay, Willamette Valley

A tropical nose of papaya, mango and ripe honeydew blend with floral talc, jasmine and sweet green herbs. Tropical and floral notes continue on the palate, where they become a bit honeyed and more subtle, allowing for easy food pairing. Fantastic acidity.
$45; 583 cases

Maryhill 2014 Proprietor’s Reserve Chardonnay, Columbia Valley

Oak lovers, listen up! If buttery, big and balanced is your ideal Chardonnay, this wine’s for you.  The stone fruit, toasty palate offers a smooth, mouth-coating texture and a lingering finish of apple juiciness, baked pear and, oh, more oak.
$29; 478 cases

Fairsing Vineyard 2015 Chardonnay Yamhill-Carlton

An oak lover’s Chardonnay full of familiar woody, banana, buttery aromas lifted with layers of lime and tangerine zest. Brioche on the palate with buttery toasted almonds, silky mouth-coating texture and a tangerine-tinged sweetness on the finish.
$42; 450 cases

Youngberg Hill 2015 Aspen Chardonnay, McMinnville

The aroma of mango, vanilla and custard entice, while pretty notes extend to the palate with pear, apple and bright tropical pineapple. Vibrant, mouthwatering acidity with the pleasant drying sensation of grapefruit pith carries through to a floral finish kissed with honeysuckle and citrus blossom.
$40; 190 cases

Weisinger Family 2016 Chardonnay, Rogue Valley

High notes of lime blossom mix with slate and apple waft from the glass, while lightly sweetened notes of Meyer lemon, honey and pineapple tickle the taste buds. Texturally driven, the wine offers dense viscosity, balanced acid and a rose petal finish that endures.
$30; 78 cases

Left Coast 2016 Truffle Hill Estate Chardonnay, Willamette Valley

Softly scented, the wine’s nose reveals notes of apple pie, banana, almond and lime blossom. Flavors of apple, pineapple, honey and flint slide across a slick texture tinged with orange sweetness transitioning to banana on the finish.
$24; 1,401 cases

Furioso 2016 Terry Family Vineyard Chardonnay, Yamhill-Carlton

Like walking through an orange grove, the aromas reflect fresh, green leafiness and ripening fruit. Oaky coconut and marzipan meet high notes of zingy lime and lemon thyme on the palate carried through a long, zesty, citrus finish.
$42; 50 cases

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