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Thursday, May 4, 2017


The Carneros Region

GUEST BLOG—By Tom Gable, As wines from the most recent harvests advance toward the distribution channels, spring white sales are in full swing to open future shelf space at your friendly wine merchant and big box store. The following are the best values from the 2014 and 2015 vintages that we’ve tasted and Tweeted about the past two months. Prices, as always, can vary depending upon the source, including the online flash-sale sites.

HIGHLIGHTS:  (HERE for complete article).

--Easy-drinking Sonoma Chardonnay ’15 Alexander Valley Vineyard $10. Light tropical, floral, toasty nose; soft acids; fruity finish. w/appetizers

--Well-made $12 Sonoma Chardonnay ’14 Clos du Bois Reserve. Toasty, tropical, pear nose; soft acids; easy drinking, long finish. w/cheeses

--Complex $13 Carneros Chardonnay ’14 Carneros Creek. vanilla, toasty, stone fruit nose; fat; soft acids; long fruity finish; some style. w/fish

--High-scoring $13 Calif. Chardonnay’14 Lincourt Rancho Santa Rosa. Tropical, peachy nose; mid-body, some viscosity, long semi-crisp finish. w/shrimp

--Unctuous $13 Calif. Chardonnay ’15 Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve (53% Monterey, 47 Santa Barbara). Peachy, floral nose; soft acids; long fat finish. w/cheese

--Soft, fat, easy-drinking $14 Monterey Chardonnay ’14 Talbott Kali Hart. Toasty vanilla, lemon nose; long unctuous finish. Appetizer wine.

--Tasty $14 Sonoma Chardonnay ’15 Decoy. Distinct Chardonnay nose; stone fruit, pear; mid-body; decent acids; long semi-crisp finish. w/fish

--Complex $15 Sonoma Chardonnay ’14 Ferrari-Carano. Vanilla, stone fruit, tropical nose; mid-body; round; long semi-lush finish, hints of wood.

--Stylish $12 Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc ’15 Hanna. Grassy, grapefruit nose; balanced fruit/acids; long citrus finish; not subtle. w/clams

--Bigger style $13 Napa Sauvignon Blanc ’14 St. Clement. Big citrus nose, lemon; mid-body; tight acids; tart fruity finish; a little hot (14.5 alc.).

--For those who like buttery Chardonnays '14 Amici Olema $13 Sonoma. Stone fruit, woody nose, long unctuous finish; a touch hot (14.2 alc.).

Tom Gable, a native Californian, has been writing about wine for more than 30 years. He gained an early interest during his tenure as business editor of the San Diego Evening Tribune in the 1970s when he began covering the evolution of the California wine industry as new investments poured in and wine quality improved.

T. Gable
Soon, his weekly wine column was syndicated through Copley News Service to more than 400 newspapers. He also contributed frequently to travel, wine (Wine Spectator) and inflight publications (United, Delta) before moving into a full-time career in public relations ( He continues to cover wine as contributing wine editor for San Diego Magazine and writes about wine, food and travel for magazines, newspapers and various blogs.

Tom has judged at major wine competitions in the U.S. and traveled extensively in the winemaking areas of the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, South Africa and New Zealand. He is a member of the Confrerie des Chevaliers du Tastevin, Society of Wine Educators and other wine organizations.


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