2015 Keller Estate "La Cruz Vineyard" Sonoma Coast Chardonnay (Elsewhere $40)

SKU #1424853 94 points Wine Enthusiast

 This white is bold and brawny in up-front apple and mango flavors and broadly structured and expansive on the palate in fleshy lush waves. An exotic back note of vanilla butterscotch beckons amid a tight tart finish that freshens as it lingers. (VB)  (7/2018)

K&L Notes

The 2015 La Cruz Chard is a big hit with K&L staff. See reviews below! Winemaker's notes: "La Cruz Chardonnay is a classic Burgundian style Chardonnay, fermented in barrel with native yeasts and aged sur lie. Keller Estate produces wines exclusively from the fruit that we grow on our family property. Located in the Petaluma Gap AVA, our estate is very well suited for Chardonnay; our climate is mild with winds blowing through from the nearby Pacific Ocean. Our La Cruz Vineyard produces distinct, fruit forward wines with bright acidity and rich minerality, a signature of our clay soils. We have 3 different vineyard sections planted to Chardonnay. Block 6 was planted in 1998 to Wente Clone, widely known for its small berries, and floral aromatic qualities, makes the backbone of our Oro de Plata. A second block is planted to Robert Young clones, adding a rich, broad texture to the wine. Block 5, planted with clone 4 in 1989, is the oldest vineyard provides structure and bracing acidity, along with bright apple and pear flavors. The purpose is to produce wines that showcase the diversity of the estate. Our three blocks and extensive clonal diversity give us a wider palate of aromas and flavors upon which we can create layers."

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Product Reviews:

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By: Keith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/17/2019 | Send Email
Long one of my favorite whites from the Sonoma Coast, it had been some time since I had seen the Keller Estate on our shelves. Not only am I happy to have it back, but right now it is half the price for what I used to pay for it. I tasted a bottle recently and what a pleasure! Gorgeous Pippin apple notes on the nose followed by butter poached pears, the palate was really humming with notes of tropical fruit and peaches. This has great structure, is harmonious and drinking perfectly right now.

By: Greg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/16/2019 | Send Email
I felt this wine was a bit of a throwback style without the overwhelming oak of the last century. The nose is a bit restrained but it is full throttle on the palate, a luscious, fleshy, full-bodied Chardonnay that does have a clean finish as the acid pops up and lifts it in the end. All and all for an under $20 Chardonnay you're getting a lot of meat on the bone here without the annoyance of being overly oaked. Solid wine for the price point.

By: Neal Fischer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/16/2019 | Send Email
This is a fun little Chardonnay from the Sonoma Coast earning 94 points from Wine Enthusiast. It comes out rich, but not overly oaked. On the nose there's a touch of butter, medium oak spice, and lemon curd. On the palate there's a lot more spice, but without becoming overly woody. It retains its richness, but this is balanced with good citrus acidity.

By: Thomas Smith | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/11/2019 | Send Email
A stunning deal on this Chardonnay. Big, rich, and full of brioche notes, peach, and lychee. This is a stand-out big fruit chardonnay with great depth and weight, and will deliver for anyone looking for big Chardonnay at a killer price.

By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/9/2019 | Send Email
Probably the best value California Chardonnay in the store right now. This stunning bottle from Keller Estate is just singing. Full of ripe, golden stone fruits, baked pears and brioche. The vineyard's position in the Petaluma wind gap means that cooling sea breezes turn on like clockwork and preserve a lovely freshness and vibrancy in the wine that balances the ripe fruit. La Cruz vineyard's ancient seabed, clay rich soils impart a lingering mineral component that add complexity and persistence to the finish. Our one-time, super low pricing makes this a top pick that is sure to blow out fast.
Top Value!

By: Stefanie Juelsgaard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/5/2019 | Send Email
The Keller Estate is a long established vineyard site in the Petaluma Gap. I've always found the site to hit that perfect balance of expressive fruit, chalky minerality, and refreshing acidity. I loved these vineyards so much I purchased fruit from here when making wine under my own label. This offering from the "La Cruz Vineyard" hits all the right notes for me and I think far exceeds its price point. This is great California Chardonnay.
Top Value!

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Additional Information:



- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:

Sonoma County

- Second in fame only to Napa, this "other" valley offers just about every climate and topography imaginable. From its cool and fog-enshrouded coastal regions on the far west, to the sprawling Alexander Valley on the boarder of Napa and the many little dips and peaks in between, Sonoma has been a vital wine-grape-growing region since the mid 1800s. Important sub-AVAs include Chalk Hill (known for chardonnay and sauvignon blanc), Dry Creek Valley (where zin is king) Knights Valley (largely cabernet land), Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast (both celebrated pinot and chardonnay zones).