Sonoma County Chardonnay Wine Reviews

By | April 30, 2015


Sonoma wineries and Sonoma wine are legendary.  Home to more than 400 award-winning wineries, Sonoma County barrels a varietal for everyone. It is America’s most exciting Chardonnay region and some of America’s most exceptional wines are Chardonnays from Sonoma. Here you’ll find everything from the creamy, buttery Chardonnays to the bright, lively, fruit-forward types and the big, blockbuster wines.

Relaxing hospitality echoes from small family run wineries to internationally advertised wine houses. Sonoma Wine Country, adjacent to Napa Valley, is part of San Francisco’s Bay Area and it is only a short drive from the Golden Gate Bridge. 

It is my pleasure to introduce some of these excellent wines in my Sonoma County Wine Reviews below. I have taken care that every wine has its own rating on a scale of 50-100. An explanation of the ratings has been given here.

What do the ratings mean?

Score Explanation
95–100 A classic great wine
90–94 An outstanding wine of superior character and style
85–89 A very good wine with special qualities
80-84 A good solid, well-made wine
75–79 A mediocre wine, drinkable but may have minor flaws
50–74 Not recommended

All wines reviewed here are for delivery within USA territory.

Bounty Hunters Wines

All these great wines and more can be bought through Bounty Hunter Wines. Who are they? Founder and CEO Mark Steven Pope explains:

For twenty years now, we’ve made it our business to track down the hottest wines the world has to offer. Let’s face it, these are challenging times, and the price-to-value ratio has never been more important as we seek to hold on to a luxnapa valley wineury experience that doesn’t break the bank.

As merchants, negotiant and vintners, we are afforded special access to a treasure trove of great wine.We taste between five and six thousand wines every year and have long-standing relationships with some of the world’s best wineries and winemakers.Consider us your ultimate Wine Country insiders. We live here in Napa, work with the local winemakers and grape growers and eat and drink with them in our Wine Bar & Smokin’ BBQ digs down town. We often get the early scoop on what’s really happening in the wineries, vineyards and cellars (lucky you). This means we have access to the truly ‘great stuff’ long before most other sources even know about it. Fact is, we stay ahead of the curve and find the wines you want before you know you want them”.

What guarantees do you have?

Bounty Hunter Rare Wine & Provisions wants you to be happy with every item that you purchase from us. “If you don’t like it, we want it back”. We are glad to refund the purchase price of your item in full, provided that the item meets our Return criteria.

1) Product: Canihan Chardonnay Sonoma County

Where to buy best: Bounty Hunter Wines (click banner below)Sonoma Chardonnay

Vintage: 2013

Bottle: 750 ml

Location: Sonoma County

Alcohol: 13.1%

Rating: 87/100

Price: $37.95 (10% discount when buying 12 bottles or more)

Tasting Notes

Bright medium gold colour. Lively, interesting, creamy aromas of butter cream frosting, dried pineapple,  crisp, dryish medium-to-full body and a warming, complex, medium-length lemon cake, nougat, spiced melon, and mint finish with fine tannins and moderate oak. A very interesting, spicy Chardonnay.

The Vineyards

The road to realizing the Canihan label was a long one, dating back to the 1920s with Swiss-born August Siegrist. Winegrowing can be a tricky endeavour, one that sometimes takes several lifetimes to get up and running. Long story short, August’s great-son-in-law Bill Canihan Jr., is now driving forward the family dream and making cool-climate wines worthy of he who envisioned them long ago. Canihan Family Cellars is situated in Sonoma, on the border of the Sonoma Coast and Carneros appellations where the vineyards receive heat tempering breezes and a regular dousing of fog courtesy of the San Francisco Bay. Organic vineyard management, dry-farming, cane-pruning, and hand-harvesting are the pillars upon which Canihan builds optimal fruit, in the cellar they allow fermentation with naturally occurring native yeast, and neither fine nor filter to unhinder the expressiveness of their terroir.

Buy this excellent wine on line and save by clicking the banner below: then click white wine>chardonnay>USA!

Bounty Hunter Rare Wine and Spirits
2) Product: Jordan Winery
Where to buy best: Bounty Hunter Wines (click banner below)
 sonoma county chardonnay
Vintage: 2013
Bottle: 750 ml
Location: Russian River ValleyAlcohol: 13.7%

Rating: 90/100

Price: $34.99 

Tasting Notes

Jordan has done it again with this quintessential California Chardonnay. Classic Russian River fruit at its best. Intense aromas of passion fruit, persimmon and Granny Smith apple leap from the glass, woven with notes of Meyer Lemon, Asian pear and wet stone minerality. A juicy mid-palate of honeydew melon, fresh guava and a touch of baking spice is balanced by firm acidity and a creamy mouthfeel that carries through the lingering finish. Enjoy this wine now for its fresh, youthful flavours or cellar through 2018 to enjoy the crème brûlée and preserved lemon characteristics that will develop with age.

Wine maker’s Notes

Tom Jordan founded his namesake winery in 1972 with the idea to make world-class Chardonnays and Cabernet Sauvignons grown in the iconic Sonoma wine region. Forty years later they’re still going strong with son John keeping an eye on things from vintage to vintage. The legacy winery’s success has to be more than just chance as John was born the very same day that John and Sally Jordan signed the deed to their first parcel of Alexander Valley land. Ever ecologically minded, they practice sustainability in the winery, the vineyards and across their entire estate and have even dedicated three quarters of their estate to natural habitat. They continue to recognize that what is good for the land is ultimately good for the wine. Some things are meant to last and these guys are more than sustaining, they’re thriving and we expect many excellent vintages for many years to come.

Buy this outstanding wine on line and save by clicking the banner below: then click white wine>chardonnay>USA!

Bounty Hunter Rare Wine and Spirits
3) Product: Terlato Family Vineyards Chardonnay

Where to buy best: Bounty Hunter Wines (click banner below)

Vintage: 2013

Bottle: 750 ml

Location: Russian River Valley

Alcohol: 14.2%

Rating: 90/100sonoma chardonnay

Price: $29.95 (10% discount when buying 12 bottles or more)

Tasting Notes

Aromatics of fresh apples and cinnamon, a touch of sea spray on the palate, and a finish marked by refined oak – with juice like this it’s easy to see why Terlato’s friends are so loyal, and how they continually make converts out of the rest.

Wine maker

The Terlato family name brings over 50 years of experience in the fine wine industry. The wines from Terlato Family Vineyards illustrate the family’s commitment and passion to crafting world-class wine. Each varietal is developed by carefully selecting vineyards from the most esteemed viticultural areas of California, insisting on limited production of hand crafted wines. These wines are authentic expressions of their region and are created with the intention of serving gastronomy. This wine comes from the Russian River Valley, universally recognized as the best Chardonnay location in California. The unique soil and climate here allows Russian River Valley Chardonnays to rival the great White Burgundies of France.

Buy this outstanding wine on line and save by clicking the banner below: then click white wine>chardonnay>USA!

Bounty Hunter Rare Wine and Spirits
4) Product: Lioco ‘Estero’ Chardonnay

Where best to buy: Bounty Hunter Wines (click banner below)sonoma chardonnay

Vintage: 2013

Bottle: 750 ml

Location: Russian River Valley

Alcohol: 12.5%

Rating: 90/100

Price: $34.95 (10% discount when buying 12 bottles or more)

Tasting Notes

True to form, this Chardonnay was raised in neutral oak barrels, with no lees stirring, so there’s not much in the way of oaky-buttery flavours here – this is all about Mirabelle plums, figs, and a meyer lemon tart. “Lemon peel, white flowers, white pepper and mint open up in the 2013 Chardonnay Russian River Estero. The flavours are bright and lifted, with gorgeous textural depth and balance. Drink this mid-weight, energetic Chardonnay over the next handful of years. This is an impeccable, beautifully balanced Chardonnay.

Wine Maker’s Notes

Two guys with some serious wine industry experience decided to join forces in 2005 and have kept their foot on the pedal ever since. Critical of the “bigger is better” mantra that had seemed to have taken control of the wine world, Matt Licklider and Kevin O’Connor teamed up to create wines of place that favoured nuance over power. Relying on nothing more than their palates and contacts, they set out on a journey to become a New World negociant. Now in their 10th year, the vision born in the alley behind Wolfgang Puck’s Spago (we don’t ask questions about alleys), has taken on a life of its own, and they continue to search for distinctive vineyards that epitomize what California fruit is all about. In our never ending quest to keep delivering “great stuff” wherever we find it, we are proud to offer this liquid trip of coastal California that is sure to take your palate on a thrill ride.

Buy this premium wine on line and save by clicking the banner below: then click white wine>chardonnay>USA!
Bounty Hunter Rare Wine and Spirits


Please feel free to leave a comment or ask a question and I will reply within 24 hours.

3 thoughts on “Sonoma County Chardonnay Wine Reviews

  1. Raphael

    Nice review again. My interest in wine is growing, and you’re helping me understand some things in a way I haven’t come across before. When the bottles come from Amazon, how is it packaged? Thanks!

    1. Jerry Post author

      Thank you Raphael, just keep asking the questions and I will reply. I have requested Amazon to hand me the packing method and they confirmed to be back to me within 24 hours. As soon as I have their answer, I will provide it to you. Cheers, Jerry

      1. Jerry Post author

        Hi Raphael, Here is Amazon’s reply “The packaging for our wine order varies per order so there is not a set method of packaging. Any time a customer contacts you with questions about their order, we ask that you advise the customer to contact our Customer Service department directly. For confidentiality reasons, we can only discuss customer account and order information with the customer. Please have the customer call 866-216-1072.”
        By the way they also told me that I cannot earn advertising fees for this type of alcoholic beverage, so I will need to take it out and replace it by another supplier. Cheers, Jerry


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