94

2009 Marimar Estate Chardonnay La Masía Don Miguel Vineyard, Russian River Valley, California

( US$35, 14.5%, Contact the winery for details )

This is the most elegant Chardonnay I’ve tasted yet from this Green Valley winery, marking a step change in freshness, minerality and balance. The wine is still Californian in style, but the oak and acidity are nicely intertwined adding a refeshing backrop to the pear and citrus fruit. The lees work is exemplary, too. A wine that wouldn’t look out of place in a line up of top Meursaults. Bravo. 

BuyDrinking window: 2012-15Similar Wines: Under £5, 91-95, United States, White, Chardonnay

Wine at the movies

by Brian Miller
“I like to drink wine more than I used to. Anyway, I’m drinking more.” Marlon Brando, ‘The Godfather’ With his proceeds from ‘The Godfather’ director Francis Ford Coppola bought himself...

My Dream Cellar

by Tim Atkin
Imagine, just for one minute, that you were richer than Bill Gates: more loaded than a Hollywood film star, Warren Buffett and a Russian oligarch put together. Which wines would...

The pick of Waitrose’s wine range

by Tim Atkin
RED 2010 Saumur, Les Nivières (£7.49, 13%) Essence of Loire Cabernet Franc, this unoaked red is a delight: soft and grassy with fresh acidity, no oak and pure blackcurrant and...

German Pinot Noir comes of age

by Tim Atkin
Question: which country is the world’s third biggest producer of Pinot Noir? I’d always imagined the top five would be France (Champagne boosts the numbers), the USA, Australia, New Zealand...

Who needs generic wine tastings?

by Tim Atkin
Hands up who watched, let alone attended, any of the party conferences this autumn? Yup, I thought so. You have to be a serious political wonk (or a paid lobbyist...

Wine dynasties and how to survive them

by Tim Atkin
The comedian John Cleese once published a conversational if surprisingly serious book called "Families and how to survive them". You don’t have to be Sigmund Freud, or a member of...

Wine Families and How to Survive Them

by Tim Atkin
The comedian John Cleese once published a conversational if surprisingly serious book called “Families and how to survive them”. You don’t have to be Sigmund Freud, or a member of...

Celebrating 25 years of the IPNC

by Tim Atkin
What would a neo-Prohibitionist make of the International Pinot Noir Celebration in McMinnville, Oregon? There’s enough wine consumed over the course of the three day festival to stock a chain...

Can California crack the UK market?

by Tim Atkin
It was George Bernard Shaw who described England and the United States as “two nations divided by a common language.” The famous quote kept coming back to me on a...

In praise of older wines

by Tim Atkin
How long does it take you to drink a bottle of wine once you’ve bought it? A day? A week? A year? I’m not sure how accurate the statistic is,...