Skip to main content

6 Wines to Help you Fall for Washington Chardonnay


Displays of gold, orange and red leaves in the vineyards foretell cooler weather. Blankets of clouds, emergent, protectively hug the Horse Heaven Hills. As the progressively shorter days and longer nights nestle into fall, I crave Chardonnay. For me, Chardonnay is the wine of choice for this season.

Clouds forming on the Horse Heaven Hills.

Today, I have six recommended Washington Chardonnays which are suitable for your fall repasts and celebratory occasions. Chardonnay remains the most popular white wine variety for a reason. Because it can be so darn good and affordable too. It is a variety which can be expressed in numerous ways, nutty, fruity, dry, oaked, unoaked, crisp and pale to heavy and dark. A supremely expressible and food compatible wine.

For the ABC partisans, think of these recommended wines as conversion therapy. Don't behave like the elusive White Zinfandel drinker. Give Chardonnay another try, Washington Chardonnay that is. You can thank me later. Cheers!

6 Recommended Washington Chardonnay

Ashan Cellars Chardonnay, Kestrel Vineyards.

1. $45 Ashan Cellars ChardonnayGorman Winery, Woodinville, WA.

When you think 95+ point wines, what is your association? Red wine, right? But white wines can also score well too. The Kestrel Vineyard Ashan Cellars Chardonnay by Chris Gorman is one of my favorite wines. Lovely, lovely wine and one I would dearly love to re-visit. Cool label too.

This wine is produced from the oldest existing Chardonnay vines in Washington state. Kestrel Vineyards original 1972 plantings of the Wente Clone in Prosser, Washington. Exotic melon and citrus flavors meld with a full textured Chardonnay mouth-feel. Wild Yeast fermented in 100% New French Oak. Highly Recommended.

2. $14 Barnard Griffin Chardonnay – Barnard Griffin Winery, Richland, WA.

The Washington Chardonnay I continue to return to is one I have enjoyed over many years. That is, the Chardonnay made by winemaker Rob Griffin of Barnard Griffin Winery in Richland, Washington. I've been a fan since well before they opened their tasting room in 1997.

For me, Barnard Griffin is synonymous with Washington wine. I even worked for Barnard Griffin Winery 2005 - 2007. We have a history. Link to my review of the Barnard Griffin 2013 Chardonnay. Recommended + Great Value.

3. $25 Shirley Mays 2014 Chardonnay – Dunham Cellars, Walla Walla, WA.

Minimal oak exposure, elegant and expressive. My style of Chardonnay. 2014 Shirley May Chardonnay – portion stainless and barrel, 100% malolactic, bottled in June 2015, winemaker is fond of Chardonnay. “White Burgundy style” going for mouth feel. Frame the fruit with texture, not barrel. Expressive of the vineyard. 100% Chardonnay.

Shirleys Mays Chardonnay is dedicated to Cancer Survivors. Dunham Cellars is doing their part to help find a cure for breast cancer. October is breast cancer awareness month. Dunham Cellars is proud to support Susan G. Komen for the Cure through the Puget Sound Affiliate. Link to my visit and tour of Dunham Cellars. Strongly Recommended.


4. $14.99 Gordon Estate 2014 Chardonnay – Gordon Estate, Pasco, WA.

Gordon Estate is located in the heart of the Columbia Valley in Washington State. They are the oldest estate winery in Washington State and use only estate-grown grapes in making their hand-crafted Washington wines. In 1985, Jeff Gordon released his first small lot of Chardonnay wine produced from their estate vines.

Gordon Estate, previously known as "Gordon Brothers," has been served at my table for over 25 years. I encourage you to discover the wines of Gordon Estate. A true Washington original. This is a well executed Chardonnay which satisfied my craving. Fresh, new world style with minimal oak. My speed. Suggest grabbing an extra bottle if you have to share. *Will have a full review posted soon. Strongly Recommended.


5. $17 Kestrel 2014 Old Vine Chardonnay – Kestrel Vintners, Prosser, WA.

I have a habit of drinking Kestrel wines and not reviewing them. Because they are that good! Winemaker Flint Nelson and his team at Kestrel wines use some of the best fruit grown in the Yakima Valley. Kestrel has a 126 acre estate vineyard, which includes their famous Kestrel Vineyards Wente clone Chardonnay, planted in 1972. Yes, I'm a fan of that fruit.

This wine was lighter than expected at open, filled out within the hour. Young vintage which will develop further in bottle. Buy a case now and enjoy a bottle every couple of months for 2 years of anticipated pleasure. *I will have a more detailed review soon. Recommended.


6. $10 Tall Sage 2014 Chardonnay – Goose Ridge Winery, West Richland, WA.

Tall Sage is the Monson Family’s tribute to a man of great stature, the founder of Goose Ridge Estate Vineyards, Arvid Monson. A tall sage is one that develops deep tap roots, and like Arvid himself, sustains the life around it.

On day two: Nutty pear, brioche, smooth, freshness that was missing day one, tacky on tongue, slightly bitter with sage on the bigger finish. More my speed. Serve chilled and enjoy. *I will have a more detailed review of this wine soon. Recommended.


I hope you have an opportunity to enjoy these wines at your home this season. They truly are a pleasure with food and friends!



Popular posts from this blog

Chateau St. Michelle, Indian Wells, 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon

Good Wine, Happy Camper Fall is settling on us quite rapidly. Today, our sunny afternoon was framed by ominous dark clouds lurking on the horizon north of us. It‘s unsettling how quickly the cool weather descends on SE Washington. That touch of autumn sunshine put me in the mood for grilling steaks tonight. I‘ll embrace the sun when I can. But, what good is steak without wine? On my way home, I grabbed a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon. On a whim, I bought a wine I would not usually purchase; it was priced on sale for less that $15. My expectations were not high for the wine, I was just hoping for something palatable. Chateau St. Michelle Chateau St. Michelle, is a Washington winery - an Eastern and Western Washington winery. The St. Michelle winery and tasting room is located in Woodinville, Washington, just across lake Washington from Seattle. However, this wine is made in Patterson, Washington, from Columbia Valley grapes (Indian Wells series) at their attractive Columbia Crest

My Favorite Recipe | Flourless Chocolate Torte

Satisfying those chocolate cravings. My Instagram followers have seen me post photos ( @williampollardjr ) of my favorite dessert for over a year. Possibly, I've posted the original recipe to Instagram. If you ask, I usually do. After success and failures, I've learned that this dessert does not always deliver desired results. With some effort, I've figured out why, and the remedy. Yes, I've been gently tweaking the recipe. Adjusting ingredients. Modifying and streamlining the process. With mixed results. Confiding with my wife, she gave me a tip that finally nailed this recipe down. I'm happy to share this recipe with modifications. It's truly a lovely dessert. My favorite. Enjoy responsibly. Just out of the oven flourless chocolate torte. Recipe: Flourless Chocolate Torte An easy recipe to follow. You will need an oven, mixer, spring form pan and a double boiler. While you can eat this torte warm, I prefer to let it cool down and refrigera

The Best Sci-Fi Series You’re Not Watching. But I Am

The Ministry of Time/El Ministerio Del Tiempo History is under threat. Someone is attempting to alter the past. In response, a secret government organization is working to protect the sanctity of time. This group is the Ministry of Time. Agents of the ministry, are able to travel to different times and places via a deep well of stairs located in Madrid, Spain. From these stairs, innumerable doorways branch off to different periods of the past. Agents are recruited from other time periods, they work diligently to protect the history of Spain. And we get to go along for the thrilling ride. I’m changing up things today by recommending my favorite Spanish TV series. I found it accidentally, now I'm hooked. Improving my Spanish language comprehension Among my self-improvement efforts, there are many, one is to enhance my comprehension and speaking abilities of the Spanish language. With a neglected minor in Spanish, I’m embarrassed to have forgotten so much vocabulary and