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Carneros Hills Winery Chardenet Durell Vineyard Chardonnay 2013

Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
  • WE93
0% ABV
  • WE91
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3.5 31 Ratings
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3.5 31 Ratings
0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The famed Durell Vineyard is without question, one of the most lauded Chardonnay crus in California and is situated in the foothills of Sonoma Mountain, a few miles northwest of Coteau Blanc. The vineyard overlaps three contiguous regions: Carneros, Sonoma Coast and Sonoma Valley. The terroir consists of well-drained, cobbled soils, sloping and relatively steep, with southeast and southwest orientations that capture the daytime sun. The wine displays the vineyard soils, showing a tangy streak of minerality.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
WE 93
Wine Enthusiast
This is a sublime, succulent and entirely rewarding white from the great vineyard site that is Durell. The vines used by this producer date back to 1994, 1995 and 2003. Richly defined, the wine is lengthy and complex in honeycomb, ginger and a powerful mix of acidity and texture, finishing in a bite of orange.
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Carneros Hills Winery

Carneros Hills Winery

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Carneros Hills Winery, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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Wine lovers familiar with the Carneros region know that it spans the southern ends of Napa and Sonoma counties, and that on a clear day you can see across San Pablo Bay all the way to the spires of San Francisco, 20 nautical miles away. They know too—and can feel—the moist, chilly winds that almost constantly wash across Carneros, keeping temperatures moderate.

Carneros Hills Winery is in the tenderloin of Carneros, south of the Carneros Highway. It is a new winery, established just in 2013. Despite its recent inception the winery has history and tradition behind it, having been the site of the historic Buena Vista Winery on the Sonoma side of the appellation, just over the Napa border. The winery underwent dramatic renovations in 2013-2014, including cutting-edge innovations for artisanal Pinot Noir production: hand-sorting systems, basket presses and a variety of fermentation vessels. Individual barrel rooms provide the ideal conditions for primary and secondary fermentations as well as aging.

Sonoma Coast

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A vast appellation covering Sonoma County’s Pacific coastline, the Sonoma Coast AVA runs all the way from the Mendocino County border, south to the San Pablo Bay. The region can actually be divided into two sections—the actual coastal vineyards, marked by marine soils, cool temperatures and saline ocean breezes—and the warmer, drier vineyards further inland, which are still heavily influenced by the Pacific but not quite with same intensity.

Contained within the appellation are the much smaller Fort Ross-Seaview and Petaluma Gap AVAs.

The Sonoma Coast is highly regarded for elegant Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and, increasingly, cool-climate Syrah. The wines have high acidity, moderate alcohol, firm tannin, and balanced ripeness.


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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.

PIN390908_2013 Item# 165382