From Burgundy to Napa Valley, there are many styles of Chardonnay - from linear and crisp to layered and buttery.
Few have impressed us this year like the 2021 Arnot Robert Watson Ranch Chardonnay, a ringer for Puligny-Montrachet.
It's that good!
The vineyard is perched on a steep hillside overlooking the San Pablo Bay in southern Napa Valley. There, the Watson Ranch is wind-whipped and comprised of marine deposits and limestone.
A gorgeous Chardonnay, it is crisp and elegant; the mild oak influence separates this California Chardonnay from the pack.
The purity of the fruit is stunning! The wine shows citrus and stone fruit, a mineral-driven core, a mineral-driven finish, lemon zest, pear, and Fuji apple. Neutral oak is used, but we didn't detect any prominent elements - just the opposite. A stunning dash of distant almond on the finish reminds us that very modest oak is present in the most integrated and balanced way.
If you love white Burgundies as we do, don't hesitate; the 2021 Arnot-Roberts "Watson Ranch" Chardonnay could easily pass for a 1er Cru Burgundy. The vineyard's cooler climate allows for a balance of fruit, acidity, and structure typically found in France. Watson Ranch Chardonnay could easily pass for a 1’er Cru Burgundy but at a fraction of the price.
A mere 40 barrels of this single-vineyard Chardonnay were produced.
Not much is made... even less is available!