Landmark Vineyards Overlook Chardonnay 2013

Landmark Vineyards Overlook Chardonnay 2013: Light gold color; lemon, sage, honeysuckle nose; pear, apricot, apple slice, lilt of lemon

on the palate. Clean, refined, beautifully elegant premium Sonoma chard; restrained oak, crisp acidity, creamy mouthfeel. Although it sells for $25, this is the entry-level in Landmark’s repertoire; it is wonderfully delicious, just about everything you could want for or love about a well-made, exquisite chardonnay (I hesitate to call an effort as graceful as this a “chard”). If more chards achieved this level grace and charm, the ABC—Anything But Chardonnay—club would have to disband for lack of mission. Landmark has interesting story: it was founded in 1974 by a group that included Damaries Deere Ford, a great-great-granddaughter of John Deere (inventor of the steel plow). The winery uses labor-intensive techniques rather than wine factory shortcuts, naturally-present yeasts, and ages in French oak to achieve its courtly demeanor. Greg Stach is the talented winemaker who brings a “less is more” philosophy to Landmark, a refreshing counterblow to many “over-the-top is not enough” efforts in Napa and Sonoma. Robert Parker calls this “an amazing value.” He is correct. $25Landmark Vineyards Overlook Chardonnay