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Celebrate the Fourth With 1 (or More) of These Great American White Wines

Staff Writer
What could be more American than a good California chardonnay?

This Fourth of July, celebrate with that most American of white wines: chardonnays from California (or even Virginia). Here are 11 to choose from ranging from $11 to $70 in price.

If your taste buds want something other than chardonnay, three other possibilities are appended, including a great chenin blanc — a grape making a comeback in Napa Valley — from Chappellet.

Let the celebration begin!

Noble Vines “446” San Bernabe Chardonnay 2014 ($11)

Mix of fruity and savory flavors, lots of toasty notes, almost sweet with a long aftertaste.

Meiomi Monterey-Sonoma-Santa Barbara Chardonnay 2014 ($18)

This three-county blend is an easy-drinking summer chard, but a serious one, too, with lingering flavors of melon and buttery toast, full on the palate with good structure.            

Stinson Monticello Chardonnay 2014 ($25)

A Virginian entry. Ripe, rich fruitiness, mainly fresh apples, with some minerality, good balance, and good mouthfeel.

Frank Family Carneros Chardonnay 2014 ($32)

Very enjoyable, nicely structured wine with good fruitiness — apple and lime — and moderate weight.

Chappellet Napa Valley Chardonnay 2014 ($34)

A middle-of-the-road chard that is neither too oaky nor too lean, and that makes pleasant and easy drinking.

La Follette Sangiacomo Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2013 ($34)

Very good drinking — a combination of tart green apples in the beginning mellowing down to a creamy finish.

Flora Springs Napa Valley Chardonnay 2014 ($35)

Similar in profile to the pricier Flora’s Legacy (see below), perhaps needing more crispness in the finish, but with good flavors.    

Pfendler Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2014 ($38)

Enjoyable green apple fuitiness with some pleasing notes of bitters and a toasty finish; moderately full, but lean at the end.

Jon Nathaniel Lavender Hill Carneros Chardonnay 2014 ($50)

A new entry from the family behind Flora Springs, the wine is creamy and toasty but has a streak of minerality; big without being over the top.

Pahlmeyer Jayson North Coast Chardonnay 2013 ($52)

A very nice chard — bright flavors, good fruit-oak balance, not overly buttery.

Flora Springs Flora’s Legacy Napa Valley Chardonnay 2014 ($70)

An elegant wine with soft fragrance in the nose and on the palate, although with some sharp edges in the finish.       

Noble Vines “242” San Bernabe Sauvignon Blanc 2014 ($11)

Minty sweet, a little light — the kind of wine that would make a good spritzer or work well served over ice with a straw.

Anaba “Landa Vineyard” Sonoma Coast Viognier 2013 ($27)

Soft and light yet well-structured with lots of floral notes, yet not overly fruity; a touch of whey in the finish.

Chappellet Napa Valley Chenin Blanc 2014 ($32)

Before chardonnay domination came along, chenin blanc was widely made in Napa Valley, and I would love to see more like this one — crisp green flavors, but with more of an apple character and white-flower aromas than sauvignon blanc gives.