Like a Fine Wine: Six Ageworthy Chardonnays to Cellar

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Chardonnay is the most widely planted white grape varietal in the world. Known for its versatility and ageworthy notes that range from crisp and fruit-forward to savory and nutty, it’s no wonder these cellar-worthy Chardonnays made this year’s Top 100 Cellar Sections list.

Here are six top-rated Chardonnays destined for your cellar.

A Six-Bottle Master Class to Chardonnay

Ramey 2018 Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay (Carneros); $70, 100 points. This is a stunner from blocks planted in 1997 and 1999. Beautiful aromas of toasted hazelnut and stone lead to a palate that shows undeniable minerality paired with lasting acidity. It shows freshness and energy throughout. Drink 2026–2032. Cellar Selection.Virginie Boone

Domaine Louis Moreau 2018 Les Clos Grand Cru (Chablis); $100, 97 points. Notes of crushed limestone and sea salt lend freshness to powerfully ripe yellow apple, pineapple and pear flavors in this wine. Matured entirely in stainless steel, it’s a classic Chablis focused squarely on the sun-drenched richness and invigorating mineral sheen of the Grand Cru Les Clos vineyard. Just approaching peak now, the wine should improve through 2040. Cellar Selection. —Anna Lee C. Iijima

Ökonomierat Rebholz 2018 Hansjörg Rebholz R Chardonnay (Pfalz) $88, 97 points. Seductive notes of charred vanilla bean, smoke and caramel adorn this lavish yet smartly poised Chardonnay. Unctuously creamy but pertly balanced in acidity, it highlights pure, pristine red apple and lemon flavors as well as a dazzling mineral streak. It’s drinking beautifully already but likely to improve through 2035 and hold further.  Cellar Selection.A.I.

Gary Farrell 2018 Rochioli Vineyard Chardonnay (Russian River Valley); $65, 95 points. Steely, spicy and youthfully grippy, this is a powerful white that’s buzzy in acidity. Tangerine, wet stone, pear and vanilla play around a supple, seamless midpalate. This will be enjoyable for years to come; enjoy from 2028–2030. Cellar Selection.  —V.B.

Joseph Drouhin 2019 Clos des Mouches Premier Cru (Beaune) $185, 95 points. Ripe, juicy yellow-plum and pear flavors are calibrated by a fresh mineral undertone in this voluptuous expression of one of Burgundy’s most celebrated vineyards. Matured 12 to15 months in 25% new oak, it’s a big, powerful wine adorned in layers of sweet spice, smoke and dill undertones, but held upright by a spine of acidity. The wine needs some time to meld but should drink at peak from 2025 to 2035 and hold longer still. Cellar Selection.A.I.

Brittan Vineyards 2018 Estate Chardonnay (McMinnville), $45, 94points. This is the first estate-grown Chardonnay from Robert Brittan, and as you’d expect from this master winemaker, it’s a doozy. The influence of 15% new French oak is felt but not overwhelming, and the clean apple, peach and citrus fruit bursts open with exhilarating freshness. There’s a whiff of flint also, and a seam of honeysuckle. This clearly has long-term aging potential. Drink through 2032. Cellar Selection. —Paul Gregutt

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Published on November 8, 2021
Topics: Buying Guide