10 Best Chardonnay Wines in Sonoma (2022)

10 Best Chardonnay Wines in Sonoma Featured

What Are the Best Wines in Sonoma?

Chardonnay is the best-selling wine and the leading white in Sonoma County. In fact, walk to any wine tasting bar or fine-dining establishment, and you’re guaranteed to find a bunch of premium Chardonnay wines. And there’s a good reason for this: Sonoma County is ranked second among the California counties in Chardonnay production, growing 15,800 acres of this magnificent grape variety. Some, including us, say that it also tops the overall quality of the West Coast.

Yet, to truly enjoy Sonoma Chardonnay, you need to approach it with an open mind to find it agreeable with your taste buds. If you have, for example, a jaded palate, Sonoma Chardonnay might not be for you. But, the most interesting thing is the purse for the best Chardonnay on a limited budget, which we’ve covered in this wine list. From crispy to buttery, from fruity to oaky, and from the Alexander Valley to the Sonoma Valley and the Russian River Valley, Sonoma Chardonnay has something for every wine enthusiast. Here are the best-selling Chardonnay wines in Sonoma. Enjoy!


Best Overall Best Value Best Cheap Under $15 Best Under $20 Best Under $25 Best Under $30 Best Under $40 Best Under $50 Best Under $100 Best With Unlimited Budget
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Name Flowers Sonoma Coast Chardonnay Raeburn Chardonnay La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay Frei Brothers Chardonnay Hartford Court Chardonnay J Vineyards Chardonnay Jordan Chardonnay Marimar Estate Don Miguel Vineyard La Masía Chardonnay Kistler Les Noisetiers Aubert Chardonnay CIX
Color White White White White White White White White White White
Country United States United States United States United States United States United States United States United States United States United States
Grapes Chardonnay Chardonnay Chardonnay Chardonnay Chardonnay Chardonnay Chardonnay Chardonnay Chardonnay Chardonnay
Taste Pineapple, Guava, Nectarine, Lime, Apple, Nut, Lemon Meringue Grapefruit, Passion Fruit, Apricot, Toasted Oak, Caramel, Butterscotch, Cinnamon Spice Peach, Plum, Melon, Pineapple, Brioche Bread, Cinnamon Spice Lemon Blossom, Pineapple, Guava, Butter, Toasted Wood, Tomato Leaf, Dried Herb Peach, Apricot, Pineapple, Guava, Passion Fruit, Butter, Brioche Bread, Smoke, Wood Pineapple, Cream, Butter, Guava, Lime, Charred Wood, Peach, Apple, Nectarine, Flint Orange Zest, Pineapple, Peach, Oak, Cream, Toasted Oak Apple, Pear, Nectarine, Pineapple, Butter, Honey, Lemon Custard Pear, Jasmine, Dried Herb, Guava, Papaya, Pineapple, Almond, Butter, Brioche Bread Nectarine, Juicy Mango, Pineapple Lime, Orange, Butter, Almond, Brioche Bread
Food Pairing Seafood, Grilled Chicken, Shrimp, Butternut Squash, Goat Cheese Lobster Roll, Red Snapper, Grilled Calamari, Pappardelle Lobster, Brie Lobster, Crab Cake, Scallops, Roast Chicken, Creamy Pasta Chicken Piccata, Roasted Salmon, Indian Risotto, Grilled Seafood Mussels, Roasted Salmon, Grilled Seafood, Polenta, Chicken With A Cream Sauce, Danish Blue Cod, Shellfish, Ceviche, Indian, Fried Calamari, Aged Sheep Cheese Grilled Sea Bream, Egg Benedict, Lobster, Red Peppers, Pumpkin, Cheddar Salmon Fish Cake, Trout, Ceasar Salad, Ham, Pork Chops Halibut, Risotto, Vegetable Terrines, Foie Gras, Taleggio Seafood, Halibut, Perk, Capers, Indian, Risotto, Napolitana, Roast Chicken, Smoked Salmon
Alcohol Content 14.1% 14.5% 13.8% 13.8% 13% 14.3% 13.5% 14% 14% 13.5%
Sugar Content Dry Dry Dry Dry Dry Dry Dry Dry Dry Dry
Our Rating 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5) 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5) 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5) 4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5) 4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5) 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5) 4.7 out of 5 stars (4.7 / 5) 4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5) 4.9 out of 5 stars (4.9 / 5) 5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)
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Best Chardonnay Wines in Sonoma

Best Overall

  • Name — Flowers Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
  • Winery — Flowers
  • Country/Region — United States, California, North Coast, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
  • Type — Californian Chardonnay
  • Aroma — Jasmine, Grapefruit, Lemon, Vanilla, Oak
  • Grapes — Chardonnay
  • Taste — Pineapple, Guava, Nectarine, Lime, Apple, Nut, Lemon Meringue
  • Alcohol Content — 14.1%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Seafood, Grilled Chicken, Shrimp, Butternut Squash, Goat Cheese
Overall Rating: 4.8

Positives
  • Powerful Aromatics
  • Chalky Texture
  • Persistent Acidity
Negatives
  • Higher Tannin Content

Tasting Notes

Powerful aromatics of white flowers, citruses, and stone fruits dominate the bouquet of this Chardonnay. The palate is equally fruity with a chalky texture and persistent acidity. It usually has a long and super juicy finish. Bursting with fresh scents of, jasmine, grapefruit, lemon, and peaches, the nose is a reminder of the land from which it comes.

What’s more, on the palate, this Chardonnay remains vibrant and powerful, displaying the tropical flavors of pineapples, guavas, nectarines, limes, apples, and nuts. A hint of lemon meringue appears, too, and a sip concludes with a long and juicy aftertaste. This wine is known for its impressive acidity.

Native Fermentation

Flowers Vineyards was founded 25 years ago, pioneering the growth of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay on the Sonoma Coast, specifically on some rugged coastal ridges. The idea was to farm responsibly and sustainably using 100% native fermentation with minimal intervention. This way, Flower Vineyards can produce distinctive wines, highly expressive of the spirit of the Sonoma Coast.


Best Value

  • Name – Raeburn Chardonnay
  • Winery — Raeburn
  • Country/Region — United States, California, North Coast, Sonoma Coast, Russian River Valley
  • Type — Californian Chardonnay
  • Aroma — Honeysuckle, Orange Blossom, Apple, Peach, Nectarine, Jasmine
  • Grapes — Chardonnay
  • Taste — Grapefruit, Passion Fruit, Apricot, Toasted Oak, Caramel, Butterscotch, Cinnamon Spice
  • Alcohol Content — 14.5%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Lobster Roll, Red Snapper, Grilled Calamari, Pappardelle Lobster, Brie
Overall Rating: 4.5

Positives
  • Pronounced Aromas
  • Creamy On The Palate
  • Refreshing Acidity
Negatives
  • Acidity Can Be A Bit Overwhelming

Tasting Notes

Raeburn Chardonnay has many complex fruit tones, from pears to apples and peaches. Now, these fruit elements accompany fine oak and vanilla spice. It has an elegant and balanced finish. Floral notes of jasmine grace this wine’s bouquet alongside notes of pears, apples, peaches, and nectarines. In fact, the aromatic profile is lit from within.

Following closely, one can also find lemon sorbet nuances and a toasty touch. On the palate, the fruitiness continues. Flavors of grapefruit, apple, pear, and pineapple are framed by oak and vanilla spice, while an element of crème brûlée adds texture to the balanced finish.

Growing Fine Burgundy Grapes

Raeburn means “the river where one goes to drink” and represents the winery perfectly, as it is established in the center of the Russian River Valley. It is where some of the world’s finest Burgundy grapes grow, creating concentrated wines, like Raeburn Chardonnay. Originally, the winery was an egg storage facility that was converted to a wine estate in 2000 by Cecil DeLoach, Sonoma County vintner.


Best Cheap Under $15

  • Name — La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
  • Winery — La Crema
  • Country/Region — United States, California, North Coast, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
  • Type — Californian Chardonnay
  • Aroma — Lemon, Lime, Apple, Pear, Toasted Oak, Peach, Nectarine
  • Grapes — Chardonnay
  • Taste — Peach, Plum, Melon, Pineapple, Brioche Bread, Cinnamon Spice
  • Alcohol Content — 13.8%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Lobster, Crab Cake, Scallops, Roast Chicken, Creamy Pasta
Overall Rating: 4.5

Positives
  • Refreshing And Complex
  • Fruit-forward
  • Lingering Finish
Negatives
  • A Bit Overwhelming Smokiness

Tasting Notes

The wine begins with aromas of Meyer lemons, apples, pears, and hints of oak. These are followed by flavors of peaches, plums, melons, and other tropical fruits on the palate. A vibrant acidity refreshes the taste buds while the finish is lingering and long. It is considered one of the best Sonoma Chardonnays. Fine aromas of lemons, limes, and green fruits, such as apples and pears, define this Chardonnay’s nose, followed by touches of toasted oak, peaches, and nectarines.

In the mouth, the wine has intensity and purity. Tastes of peaches, ripe plums and melons, and pineapples dominate. A certain level of oiliness and brioche bread is prevalent, too, adding layered complexity. A touch of oak and savory spice concludes the tasting profile. A white wine with moderate, yet refreshing acidity.

Flavorful and Expressive Wines

La Crema Viñera, which means “the cream (i.e., the best) of the vine” was established in 1979. Since then, for more than 35 years, it has produced high-quality wines in the Russian River Valley, Monterey, and the Willamette Valley. In fact, through careful vineyard selection and boutique winemaking techniques, La Crema ensures flavor consistency and balance in their wines.


Best Under $20

  • Name — Frei Brothers Chardonnay
  • Winery — Frei Brothers
  • Country/Region — United States, California, North Coast, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
  • Type — Californian Chardonnay
  • Aroma — Apple, Pear, Grapefruit, Lime, Nut, Orange Zest, Nectarine
  • Grapes — Chardonnay
  • Taste — Lemon Blossom, Pineapple, Guava, Butter, Toasted Wood, Tomato Leaf, Dried Herb
  • Alcohol Content — 13.8%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Chicken Piccata, Roasted Salmon, Indian Risotto, Grilled Seafood
Overall Rating: 4.5

Positives
  • Balanced Flavors
  • Full Body
  • Mouthwatering Palate
  • Buttery Aftertaste
Negatives
  • Shorter Finish

Tasting Notes

Frei Brothers Chardonnay is a balanced and creamy white that showcases juiciness and notes of green apples, citrus, and nuts. It has a mouthwatering palate, hints of toasted oak, and a silky finish. Perfect! Aromas of apples, pears, grapefruit, and limes dominate the nose, surrounded by nuances of nuts, orange zest, and nectarines.

The plush mouthfeel is powerful and vibrant, presenting flavors of citruses, lemon blossoms, pineapples, and guavas. Hints of butter and toasted wood complement the fruity tastes, as touches of tomato leaf and dried herbs, add richness. Super versatile, this wine is awesome on its own or paired with a light meal. The moderate finish is buttery.

Frei Brothers

Frei Brothers Sonoma Reserve crafts award-winning wines by working with grape growers and vineyard managers that select the best grapes and ideal sites for each grape variety. By doing so, Frei Brothers control the entire winemaking process and can choose fruit with the highest flavor concentration. This winery strives to bring the heart of Sonoma County to the glass.


Best Under $25

  • Name — Hartford Court Chardonnay
  • Winery — Hartford Court
  • Country/Region — United States, California, North Coast, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
  • Type — Californian Chardonnay
  • Aroma — Sea Spray, Apple, Pear, Rock, Marzipan, Nutmeg
  • Grapes — Chardonnay
  • Taste — Peach, Apricot, Pineapple, Guava, Passion Fruit, Butter, Brioche Bread, Smoke, Wood
  • Alcohol Content — 13%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Mussels, Roasted Salmon, Grilled Seafood, Polenta, Chicken With A Cream Sauce, Danish Blue
Overall Rating: 4.6

Positives
  • Great Complexity
  • Crazy Smooth
  • Racy Acidity
Negatives
  • Oakiness Might Not Be Appreciated By Some People

Tasting Notes

Rich and velvety, this Chardonnay is the epitome of balance, juiciness, and expansiveness. Characterized by nutty elements, well-integrated oak, and notes of green and stone fruits, Hartford Court Chardonnay is one-of-a-kind. Those looking for a pure, perfectly balanced Russian River Valley Chardonnay should check out this one. It begins with the green apple, almond, and pineapple aromas that cumulate in a honeyed expression of peaches and nectarines.

As it flows into the mouth, flavors of the orchard fruits emerge. Oranges, lemons, pears, and mangoes combine, impressing the taste buds. The oak influence is well-integrated, while touches of sea spray and crushed rocks spread over a core of marzipan. This wine has a racy persona with a medium, yet creamy finish.

Appreciation for the Wines of the Russian River Valley

Founded in 1993, Hartford Family Winery is an appreciation of the grapes and the people of the Russian River Valley. Producing expressive and delicious vintages of top-quality wines, the Hartford Family celebrates the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grape varieties like nobody else.


Best Under $30

  • Name — J Vineyards Chardonnay
  • Winery — J Vineyards
  • Country/Region — United States, California, North Coast, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
  • Type — Californian Chardonnay
  • Aroma — Lemon Blossom, Grapefruit, Flint, Oak
  • Grapes — Chardonnay
  • Taste — Pineapple, Cream, Butter, Guava, Lime, Charred Wood, Peach, Apple, Nectarine, Flint
  • Alcohol Content — 14.3%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Cod, Shellfish, Ceviche, Indian, Fried Calamari, Aged Sheep Cheese
Overall Rating: 4.7

Positives
  • Full-bodied But Refreshing
  • Elegant Bouquet
  • Long Finish
Negatives
  • Aftertaste Isn’t That Impressive

Tasting Notes

Lemon blossom, citrus, and flint grace the nose of this Chardonnay. Full-bodied with refreshing and bright acidity, this wine is elegant with focused layers. You will find the flavors concentrated and fulfilling. As you uncork the bottle, you can inhale scents of white flowers, citrus, and flint, as well as notes of oak. The palate is creamy, with flavors of grapefruit, guava, pineapple, lime, and charred wood. Flavors of apples, peaches, and nectarines sync with touches of flint and minerals. Delicious!

One of the Greatest Varietal Vintners in California

J Vineyards and Winery have a reputation for being one of the best sparkling and varietal wine producers in California since 1986. J Vineyards produces sparkling wines in the traditional method and elevated winemaking techniques. Their passion for making good wine is impressive.


Best Under $40

  • Name — Jordan Chardonnay
  • Winery — Jordan
  • Country/Region — United States, California, North Coast, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
  • Type — Californian Chardonnay
  • Aroma — Lemon, Apple, Pear, Grapefruit
  • Grapes — Chardonnay
  • Taste — Orange Zest, Pineapple, Peach, Oak, Cream, Toasted Oak
  • Alcohol Content — 13.5%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Grilled Sea Bream, Egg Benedict, Lobster, Red Peppers, Pumpkin, Cheddar
Overall Rating: 4.7

Positives
  • Elegant Aromas
  • Creamy
  • Barrel Aging Is Present
Negatives
  • Just A Little Bit Flat

Tasting Notes

This is a crispy vintage that brims with freshness and vibrancy. Aromas of, lemon blossom, and apples emerge from the glass as the palate of lively citrus and stone fruits kick in. You will enjoy the mouthwatering aftertaste. Enjoy until 2023-24. One of California’s finest Chardonnays, this wine has crispy aromas of, lemons, apples, and grapefruits.

The palate boasts layers of limes and orange zest. It also presents tastes of pineapples, peaches, and oak. A certain level of creaminess exists, too, and originates from barrel aging and bâtonnage (Chardonnay winemaking technique). The finish is medium and delicious, with notes of kumquat and Fuji apple. Fresh acidity.

Exceptional Vintages

Jordan Vineyard and Winery focuses on Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon wines. And that’s good since their vintages are exceptional. Their philosophy is that every vintage should be better than the last. In other words, Jordan Vineyard and Winery constantly try to perfect winemaking. Since 2012, profits from Jordan winery fund The John Jordan Foundation, created by the winery’s owner, which fights poverty in communities through health services and education.


Best Under $50

  • Name — Marimar Estate Don Miguel Vineyard La Masía Chardonnay
  • Winery — Marimar Estate
  • Country/Region — United States, California, North Coast, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley
  • Type — Californian Chardonnay
  • Aroma — Apple, Jasmine, Peach, Mango, Charred Wood, Yogurt
  • Grapes — Chardonnay
  • Taste — Apple, Pear, Nectarine, Pineapple, Butter, Honey, Lemon Custard
  • Alcohol Content — 14%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Salmon Fish Cake, Trout, Ceasar Salad, Ham, Pork Chops
Overall Rating: 4.8

Positives
  • Focused Aromas
  • Rich Palate
  • Balanced Finish
Negatives
  • Lacks A Bit Of Dynamic

Tasting Notes

The nose is intense and focused, presenting aromas of jasmines, peaches, and oak. The mouth is rich yet crisp and mouthwatering, with tastes of apples, pears, stone fruits, and tropicals. It displays a perfectly balanced finish. This is a full-bodied white wine with intense aromas of cooked apples, jasmines, peaches, mangoes, charred wood, and nuance of yogurt.

The palate shows tastes of apples, pears, nectarines, pineapples, lemon custard, butter, and honey. In fact, malolactic conversion is prevalent, which is a characteristic of the Chardonnay vinification process. Expect a long and balanced finish. Serve the wine with pork chops, grilled seafood, or oven-baked chicken with apricots.

Wines Inspired by the European Tradition

Marimar Estate was built in 1992 with a capacity of 15,000 wine bottle cases. The estate focuses on crafting European-style wines from estate-grown Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Albariño grapes. Sustainable and 100% solar-powered, Marimar Estate produces wines with minimal handling, allowing the natural character of each variety to dominate.


Best Under $100

  • Name — Kistler Les Noisetiers
  • Winery — Kistler
  • Country/Region — United States, California, North Coast, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
  • Type — Californian Chardonnay
  • Aroma — Apple, Pear, Grapefruit, Toffee, Butternut
  • Grapes — Chardonnay
  • Taste — Pear, Jasmine, Dried Herb, Guava, Papaya, Pineapple, Almond, Butter, Brioche Bread
  • Alcohol Content — 14%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Halibut, Risotto, Vegetable Terrines, Foie Gras, Taleggio
Overall Rating: 4.9

Positives
  • Elegant Bouquet
  • Exceptional Palate
  • Well-Balanced
Negatives
  • Finish Could Have Been Longer

Tasting Notes

Full-bodied and creamy, this Chardonnay is made in the classic Chablis style. Dry with elegant aromas of apples, toffee, citrus, butternut, and tastes of green fruits and white flowers, this Sonoma Chard can stay in the cellar and evolve for quite some time. Pair it with grilled pork chops or stuffed chicken. Among the best Chardonnays in Sonoma.

The wine opens with the aromas of apples, pears, grapefruits, toffee, and butternut. Next, in the mouth, the elegance continues as crisp tastes of pears mingle with jasmines and dried herbs. Elements of guavas, papayas, and pineapples join a parade of almonds, butter, and brioche bread. Some undertones of oak can be observed, too. The wine has a creamy, albeit short finish, and refreshing acidity that keeps everything balanced.

Kistler Vineyards

Founded back in 1978, Kistler Vineyards is a small, family-owned winery that specializes in the production of Burgundy-style Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The grapes used in winemaking are purchased from vineyards in Sonoma County.


Best With Unlimited Budget

  • Name — Aubert Chardonnay CIX
  • Winery — Aubert
  • Country/Region — United States, California, North Coast, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast
  • Type — Californian Chardonnay
  • Aroma — Apple, Pear, Peach, Herb, Oak, Butternut
  • Grapes — Chardonnay
  • Taste — Nectarine, Juicy Mango, Pineapple Lime, Orange, Butter, Almond, Brioche Bread
  • Alcohol Content — 13.5%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Seafood, Halibut, Perk, Capers, Indian, Risotto, Napolitana, Roast Chicken, Smoked Salmon
Overall Rating: 5.0

Positives
  • Highly Aromatic
  • Palate And Rich Palate
  • Moderate, Yet Refreshing Acidity
  • Dynamic Aftertaste
Negatives
  • Just Perfect

Tasting Notes

Distinctive aromas, rich flavors, and silky texture define this Chardonnay. From aromatics that reflect the soil-influenced materials to traditional Burgundy nuances and tastes, Aubert Chardonnay CIX is highly expressive and complex. As soon as the glass reaches the nose, aromas of apples, pears, peaches, and grapefruits emerge, joining an array of herbs, oak, and butternut nuances. The palate is balanced and rich, full of flavors of nectarines, juicy mangoes, and pineapples.

Close by, tastes of limes, oranges, pineapples, and butter dominate, and blend with touches of almonds, brioche bread, and vanilla spice. The acidity is moderate but refreshing, while the aftertaste is dynamic, with alternating flavors of flint and honey. The winery was established in 1999 and expresses the terroir of Sonoma Coast with grace. Aubert wines speak to wine lovers, surpassing expectations every time.

Conclusion

We have finally arrived at the end of my list of the top-rated Chardonnay wines in Sonoma. However, I am pretty sure that this is not the definitive list of excellent wines from this region. Over the course of this post, I have tried to cover the best expressions of Sonoma Chardonnay, so all of you are happy and satisfied. So, if you’re in Sonoma, pay a visit to the above wineries and grab a hearty Chardonnay bottle to enjoy alone or with the company. The choice is probably endless!

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