This week’s blind tasting: Chardonnay

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2017 Red Shoulder Ranch Napa Valley Carneros Chardonnay, 14.9% alcohol, $52. ★★★★½

This chardonnay is a standout because of its layered flavors and generous, bold fruit. Rich and full-bodied, yet balanced. Crisp acid tempers this voluptuous chardonnay. Aromas and flavors of pineapple, mango and apricot. Lingering finish, with notes of guava and citrus. Impressive.


Benovia 2017 Three Sisters Fort Ross Seaview Chardonnay, 14.2%, $52. ★★★★: An elegant chardonnay with great complexity. Balanced with an underpinning of crisp acidity that keeps this chardonnay’s rich flavors in check. Aromas and flavors of crisp apple, melon, mineral and a hint of creme brulée. A bright, lingering finish. Gorgeous.

Sangiacomo 2017 Roberts Road Vineyard, Petaluma Gap, Sonoma Coast Chardonnay, 14.5%, $65. ★★★★: An aromatic chardonnay with layered flavors on the palate. This chardonnay has quite a range — pineapple, pear, apple and lemon zest. Nice length. A feminine bottling. Pretty.

Qupe 2016 Bien Nacido Block Eleven, Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay, 13.5%, $30. ★★★★: A lovely chardonnay with refreshing balance — bright fruit coupled with crisp acid. Notes of pear, apple and creme brulée. Striking.

Roessler Wine Cellars’ Big Bend, 2016 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay, 14.1%, $30. ★★★★: A delicious chardonnay with high-toned fruit — green apple and pear upfront — and rich lemon curd playing backup. Balanced, lush yet crisp. Smart.

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