Staglin Family Vineyard Estate Chardonnay, Rutherford 2015
94 Points Vinous
Staglin's 2015 Chardonnay is tropical and oily, with all of the richness of the vintage front and center. Orange peel, crème brulée, honey, butter and apricot jam give the 2015 much of its oily, viscous personality. In recent years the move towards a more finessed style with larger format oak and blocked malolactic fermentation has resulted in a Chardonnay that is at once dense yet also tense, bright and nicely focused, especially for size. The 2015 saw about 50% large format 500 and 600 liter, thick-staved barrels. The Staglin family has made wines of note in Napa Valley for three decades, but their commitment to the community and various charitable organizations may turn out to be an ever greater legacy. My fall trip coincided with a charity event I was able to visit for a few minutes between tastings, but that was more than enough to see what I can only describe as a totally first-class set up. As for the wines, they are terrific. The Staglins are currently redeveloping the Booth Bella Oaks vineyard they control through a long-term lease, so it will be some time before the potential of that site is truly known. The two Cabernet Sauvignon-based wines from the estate are both terrific in 2014.