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Browne Family Vineyards Chardonnay 2013

Chardonnay from Columbia Valley, Washington
  • WS90
13.72% ABV
  • JS90
  • WE90
  • WE92
  • WE92
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13.72% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Sweet, caramelized sugar aromatics of crme brulee introduce a fresh and fruity palate of pear, kiwi and passion fruit. This wine's sweet vanilla notes from time in French Oak and its viscous body make it a great suitor for planked salmon, skewered shrimp and roast pork loin.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 90
Wine Spectator
Polished, creamy and expressive, with delicate layers of pear, floral, nutmeg and crème fraîche that linger on the sleek finish. Drink now through 2018. 936 cases made.
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Browne Family Vineyards

Browne Family Vineyards

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Browne Family Vineyards, Columbia Valley, Washington
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Andrew Browne is the first to tell you he’s a tastemaker, not a winemaker. Andrew carefully and deliberately selected vineyards, winemakers and cellar masters committed to world class wine production to represent the best of the Columbia Valley AVA.

Inspired by the greatness of one man, William Bitner Browne, late grandfather of proprietor Andrew Browne, Browne Family Vineyards is a dream that has been many years in the making. Every decision made – from the vineyard to the bottle– reflects a commitment to premium Washington state wine of uncompromising quality, assuring cellar worthy vintages that stand the test of time. To date, Browne Family wines have received over 30 scores of 90 points from critical reviews.

Browne Family Vineyards now has two tasting rooms – in Walla Walla and Seattle – to share the fruits of the Browne family journey with others.

Columbia Valley

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A large and geographically diverse AVA capable of producing a wide variety of wine styles, the Columbia Valley AVA is home to 99% of Washington state’s total vineyard area. A small section of the AVA even extends into northern Oregon!

Because of its size, it is necessarily divided into several distinctive sub-AVAs, including Walla Walla Valley and Yakima Valley—which are both further split into smaller, noteworthy appellations. A region this size will of course have varied microclimates, but on the whole it experiences extreme winters and long, hot, dry summers. Frost is a common risk during winter and spring. The towering Cascade mountain range creates a rain shadow, keeping the valley relatively rain-free throughout the entire year, necessitating irrigation from the Columbia River. The lack of humidity combined with sandy soils allows for vines to be grown on their own rootstock, as phylloxera is not a serious concern.

Red wines make up the majority of production in the Columbia Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon is the dominant variety here, where it produces wines with a pleasant balance of dark fruit and herbs. Wines made from Merlot are typically supple, with sweet red fruit and sometimes a hint of chocolate or mint. Syrah tends to be savory and Old-World-leaning, with a wide range of possible fruit flavors and plenty of spice. The most planted white varieties are Chardonnay and Riesling. These range in style from citrus and green apple dominant in cooler sites, to riper, fleshier wines with stone fruit flavors coming from the warmer vineyards.

Chardonnay

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.

AMR40629_2013 Item# 142713