Isabel Mondavi, Carneros (California) Chardonnay 2012

($30): Carneros, the cool region at the southern end of both the Napa and Sonoma Valleys, is well recognized as a great place for Chardonnay, a variety that likes cooler climate.  Rob Mondavi, Jr., the winemaker and grandson of legendary Robert Mondavi, says he purchases grapes from growers in the Sonoma Valley portion of Carneros and blends them with their estate grapes from the Napa Valley portion of Carneros because the Sonoma grapes add a different dimension.  Whatever his rationale, this is a very successful and easy-to-recommend Chardonnay.  Crisp and creamy, it shows finesse and persistence.  This elegant and refined Chardonnay expands in the glass and is a delightful throughout a meal.
91 Michael Apstein Apr 1, 2014