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The Best White Wines at Sonoma in the City 2013

I attended the 2013 Sonoma in the City (San Francisco) trade and media tasting on April 16. It was a three-hour long, walk around tasting. Every AVA in Sonoma County was represented and at least 130 wineries had wines on offer.

My plan was to start with the whites, move onto Pinot Noir and then to the bigger reds. That proved impossible. I was only able to get through the white wines and taste about ten rosé and red wines in the allotted time. However, I did taste, rate and write notes on 111 white wines. There were a few producers I missed, such as Quivira, Frostwatch and Duckhorn. Several prominent producers didn't attend (at least not with whites or a dedicated table), including Hirsch, Joseph Phelps Freestone Vineyard, Dunstan, Three Sticks, Moshin, Woodenhead, Failla, Littorai, Peay, etc.

Overall, the wine quality was high. There were at most 20 wines that I scored below 87 points. Six earned 93 points or better.

The wines were not only well-made, but distinctive side-by-side. Sure, there was a lot of apple and pear in the Chardonnay, grapefruit and guava in the Sauvignon Blanc. And full-body was the norm. These weren’t cookie-cutter or manufactured wines though.

There were also some good values. Chief among the sweet deals is the 2012 Dry Creek Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc at just $16. But don’t overlook the beautiful 2011 Cartograph Floodgate Vineyard Gewurtztraminer at $22 or the two Chardonnay from MacRostie Winery.

The wines below are those I rated most highly amongst the whites. Each of them scored an equivalent of 90 points or higher. I have listed them in alphabetical order within each quality segment. I apologize for the lack of detailed notes on the Highly Recommended. I had them all entered and then lost it in a web-fail. I'm posting the article as is rather than holding it for another two hours while I redo those notes.

Very Highly Recommended

2010 Clouds Rest Vineyard Chardonnay Sonoma Coast Sonoma County, $45
Beautiful and aromatic. Fruit blossoms, baking spice, stone fruit and citrus. Nearly full-bodied, but fresh with a long finish.

2010 Flowers Chardonnay Sonoma Coast Sonoma County, $40
Full-bodied, fresh and flavorful with pear, baking spice and stone fruit.

2010 Flowers Chardonnay Camp Meeting Ridge Estate Vineyard Sonoma Coast Sonoma County, $58
Aromas and flavors of green apple, baking spice, pear, savory herb and a waft a yeasty bread. Full body.

2009 Gary Farrell Vineyards Chardonnay Westside Farms Russian River Valley Sonoma County, $38
Gentle on the nose, but complex. Baking spice, warm nuts, apple, pear, ginger and cream.

2010 Hanzell Vineyards Chardonnay Sonoma Valley Sonoma County, $75
Juicy, delicious, long and, as usual for Hanzell Chardonnay, a wine that will be even more charming after 3 - 10 years in the cellar.

2011 Red Car Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard Russian River Valley Sonoma County, $54
Gorgeous and my favorite white of the day. Medium+ body and long with baking spice, ginger, apple, oak and loads of ripe and juicy pear.

T040513 f

Highly Recommended+

2009 MacRostie Winery Chardonnay Wildcat Mountain Estate Vineyard Sonoma Coast Sonoma County, $35
Aromatically restrained but generous on the palate. Spice, apple, pear. Nearly full-bodied.

2011 Red Car Chardonnay Sonoma Coast Sonoma County, $35
Elegant nose, balanced palate. Baking spice, walnut skin, apple, pear, butter and cream.

Highly Recommended

2010 32 Winds Wine Chardonnay Hudson Vineyard Carneros Sonoma County, $49
2010 Argot Chardonnay “Hidden Truths” Bennett Valley Sonoma County, $42
2010 Balletto Pinot Gris Russian River Valley Sonoma County, $18
2012 Grey Stack Sauvignon Blanc Rosemary’s Block Bennett Valley Sonoma County, $30
2011 Benovia Winery Chardonnay Russian River Valley Sonoma County, $36
2010 Capture Wines Sauvignon Blanc Les Pionniers Sonoma County, $45
2010 Capture Wines Chardonnay Ma Vie Carol Pine Mountain-Cloverdale Peak Sonoma County, $48
2011 Cartograph Gewurtztraminer Floodgate Vineyard Russiant River Valley Sonoma County, $22
2011 Clouds Rest Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc “Musque” Green Valley of Russian River Valley Sonoma County, $38
2011 Del Dotto Chardonnay Cinghale Vineyard Fort Ross-Seaview Sonoma County, $85
2012 Dry Creek Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc Dry Creek Valley Sonoma County, $16
2011 Dutton-Goldfield Chardonnay Dutton Ranch Russian River Valley Sonoma County, $35
2011 Dutton-Goldfield Chardonnay Rued Vineyard Russian River Valley Sonoma County, $50
2011 Fort Ross Chardonnay Estate Fort Ross-Seaview Sonoma County, $40
2011 Freeman Chardonnay RYO-FU Sonoma Coast Sonoma County, $40
2010 Gary Farrell Vineyards Chardonnay Russian River Selection Russian River Valley Sonoma County, $32
2011 Gary Farrell Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc Russian River Valley Sonoma County, $25
2004 Gloria Ferrer Royal Cuvée Sparkling Wine Carneros Sonoma County, $32
2011 Hanzell Vineyards Chardonnay “Sebella” Sonoma Valley Sonoma County, $36
2011 Hartford Court Chardonnay Russian River Valley Sonoma County, $30
2010 Hartford Court Chardonnay Stone Cote Russian River Valley Sonoma County, $60
2010 Hartford Court Chardonna Fog Dance Russian River Valley Sonoma County, $65
2011 Jordan Chardonnay Russian River Valley Sonoma County, $30
2011 Keller Estate Pinot Gris La Cruz Vineyard Sonoma Coast Sonoma County, $30
2012 Kokomo Winery Sauvignon Blanc Timber Crest Vineyards Dry Creek Valley Sonoma County, $20
2010 La Follette Chardonnay Sangiacomo Vineyard Sonoma Coast Sonoma County, $38
2010 MacPhail Family Chardonnay Gap’s Crown Sonoma Coast Sonoma County, $45
2011 MacRostie Winery Chardonnay Sonoma Coast Sonoma County, $25
2008 Martinelli Winery Chardonnay Three Sisters Sonoma Coast Sonoma County, $60
2011 Mauritson Family Sauvignon Blanc Dry Creek Valley Sonoma County, $21
2010 Pahlmeyer Chardonnay Sonoma Coast Sonoma County, $75 (sold out)
2010 Ramey Chardonnay Sonoma Coast Sonoma County, $38
2010 Ramey Chardonnay Platt Vineyards Sonoma County, $60
2009 Ramey Chardonnay Ritchie Vineyard, $60
2012 Twomey Estate Sauvignon Blanc Russian River Valley Sonoma County, $25
2011 Sojourn Cellars Chardonnay Sangiacomo Vineyard Sonoma Coast Sonoma County, $45
2010 Sonoma-Cutrer Vineyards Chardonnay “The Cutrer” Russian River Valley Sonoma County, $32
2010 The Donum Estate Chardonnay Estate Carneros Sonoma County, $50
2011 White Oak Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc Russian River Valley Sonoma County $16

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This article is original to NorCalWine.com. Copyright 2013 NorCal Wine. All rights reserved.

Comments   

 
NapaValleyWineAcadem
#1 NapaValleyWineAcadem 2013-04-18 22:15
Fred- great wrap of of the wines from the event. Keep up the great work!
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