Kendall Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay 2014
Wine AdvocateQuite remarkable are the nearly 3 million cases of the 2014 Chardonnay Vintner's Reserve, which emerges 49% from Monterey, 31% Santa Barbara, 13% Mendocino and 7% Sonoma, with 95% barrel fermented and 100% going through malolactic fermentation. The wine is aged in French and American oak, with monthly lees stirring, which must be absolutely astonishing given the quantity of wine. This is the real deal, and while there are still those who think big is bad, the Jackson family has proved time and time again that high-quality winemaking, in this case from wine-master Randy Ullom (who has been with Kendall-Jackson as long as I've been tasting there), oversees an impressive team to put this wine together. The 2014 offers notes of honeysuckle, poached pear, delicate pineapple and papaya in a medium-bodied, surprisingly fresh, lively style, with the oak pushed way to the background. This is a serious Chardonnay, which I know must be hard for many elitists to suffer, but it is the real deal.