A Trio of Chardonnays from Stinson Vineyards, Rodney Strong Vineyards, and Doña Paula

Hello Friends,

Just about every day, as wine o'clock approaches, you can find me uncorking or unscrewing a new wine adventure. Being a wine enthusiast, a wine blogger, and someone who appreciates and enjoys the liquid expression of a place, a person’s vision, and Mother Nature’s influence -- I find wine to be one of the most intriguing beverages in the world. It’s a hobby where there is always something new to taste and learn as well as a sea of friendly "wine peeps" to meet in real life and via those wonderful and time-consuming social media portals called Facebook and Twitter.

Having a splash of Chardonnay!

All three Chardonnays I have reviewed for this segment are expressive, refreshing, lightly toasted in character, and reasonably priced. In all three cases, the barrel influence serves to complement the wine’s aroma, flavor, and texture and does not overwhelm. If for some odd reason you find yourself living in the “Anything But Chardonnay” (ABC) club, then any one of these Chardonnays is a good ticket out! For further information and where you can find these wines, see my tasting notes below.

Stinson Vineyards 2012 Chardonnay

Review: Stinson Vineyards 2012 Chardonnay (SRP $21): This wine is straw yellow in color with inviting aromas and flavors of lively stone fruit, citrus blossom, and white flowers with perfumed honey and delicate toasty vanilla tones wrapped around a solid core of bright acidity. On the palate, it shows some richness in the texture with good depth of flavor and medium length. It's nice by itself yet its vibrant personality makes it an agreeable partner to fish, veggie, and poultry dishes. Approximately 200 cases of this wine were produced. Region: Monticello, Central Virginia. (Other info: ABV 13%, 20% new French oak barrels) 89 Points. Click here to find this wine.

Rodney Strong Vineyards 2012 Chardonnay

Review: Rodney Strong Vineyards 2012 Chalk Hill Chardonnay (SRP $22): This is a bright and nicely textured Chardonnay that offers spiced apple, poached pear, and zesty citrus aromas and flavors lightly framed by toasty oak tones. On the palate, the wine is harmonious with a good acid spine, giving it a nice lift and freshness that extends through the medium-length, spice-accented finish. I enjoyed a glass with stuffed flounder but it's also delicious on its own. In the vast sea of Chardonnay, Rodney Strong consistently delivers an agreeable bottle at the $20 price point. Region: Sonoma County, California (Other info: ABV 13.5%, 100% ML, barrel fermented, aged 9 months, cork enclosure, recommended serving temperature 55° F.) 89 Points. Click here to find this wine.

Doña Paula 2012 Estate Chardonnay

Review: Doña Paula 2012 Estate Chardonnay (SRP $14.99): Golden straw in color, this medium-bodied wine exhibits aromas of (tropical) yellow fruit, lemon zest, honeysuckle, and pithy grapefruit notes with trailing (sweet) butter-cream tones. The palate expresses more floral character that the nose suggests, with a supple texture, understated acidity, and a dash of sea-salt on the tangy, medium-length finish. Doña Paula's Head Viticulturist, Martin Kaiser, calls this a “flexible wine” that would pair well with medium-aged cheeses and white meats. It’s also an affordable midweek option to enjoy on its own. Region: Mendoza Argentina. (Other info: 50% fermented stainless, 50% in new French oak barrels, maturation 6-8 months in French oak barrels, ABV 14.1%, screw cap enclosure.) 88 Points. Click here to find this wine.

Have a question about this post? Feel free to drop me an e-mail at myvinespot@yahoo.com or hit me up on Facebook or Twitter. Stay tuned ...more to come. Happy Sipping, my friends! Disclosure: This wine was provided for review. Thoughts are my own.

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