2018 Charles Bove Vouvray
Tasting Notes Wines from the Vouvray region have been on French kings’ tables since the 14th century. The wine is made up of 100 percent Chenin Blanc; Vouvray wine is steely and vivacious when young and ages magnificently for decades because of its dynamic balance between acidity and natural sweetness.
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2018 Clos des Papes Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc$115.00JD 92Jeb Dunnick 92: Starting with the 2018s and aged all in stainless steel and bottled in February, the 2018 Châteauneuf Du Pape Blanc shows the more medium-bodied, forward, supple style that’s common in the whites in the vintage. Light spice, pear, quince, licorice, and crushed citrus notes all give way to a medium-bodied, silky, elegant white that’s drinking beautifully already. I don’t expect it to be the longest-lived white by Avril’s standards, but it should easily evolve nicely for 5-7 years.
2016 Fort Ross Vineyard Chardonnay$43.00WA 91JD 91Robert Parker's Wine Advocate 91: The 2016 Chardonnay Fort Ross Vineyard gives up notions of warm applesauce, poached pears and honey toast with a waft of lemon peel. The palate is medium-bodied with appealing freshness and plenty of spicy stone fruit and apple flavors, finishing on a honey-nut note.Jeb Dunnick 91: The 2016 Chardonnay FRV Fort Ross Vineyard is a beauty. Clean, classic, and medium-bodied, with good acidity as well as notes of buttered orchard fruits and spice, it has plenty of fruit, good balance, and a classic Chardonnay profile.
2017 Solomon Hills Estate Chardonnay$50.00WS 91JD 93WE 93VN 94Wine Spectator 91: Very crisp, featuring intense white currant, celery root and wild herbal flavors that are supported by fresh acidity. The contoured finish is driven by saline notes and flinty accents. Drink now through 2024.Jeb Dunnick 93: From a great site just down from Bien Nacido, in the Santa Maria Valley, the 2017 Chardonnay Solomon Hills reveals a medium gold color as well as a terrific bouquet of tart pineapple, peach, white flowers, and honeysuckle. With notable elegance, medium body, bright acidity, and a clean finish, it's a racy yet balanced and well-made effort from the region that has plenty of salty minerality as well as the capacity to evolve for over a decade.Wine Enthusiast 93: This fascinating wine begins with aromas of citrus spray and chamomile wrapped in toasted wood, offering much intrigue right away. Flavors of sour lemon candy are tight, tart and bright on the palate, which also shows warmer apple tones against a searing and sharp acidity. Drink now through 2032.Vinous 94: The 2017 Chardonnay Solomon Hills Vineyard is quite a bit richer than the Bien Nacido Chardonnay tasted alongside it, but at the same time, it also has more energy, tension and overall volume. Tropical notes, white flowers, lemon confit, hazelnut, sage and mineral notes meld together in a potent, phenolic Chardonnay endowed with tremendous personality. The combination of bold, ripe fruit and vibrant structure is compelling.