Bonterra Chardonnay Review (2023)

Bonterra Chardonnay Featured

What Kind of Wine Is Bonterra Chardonnay?

Bonterra Chardonnay is an oaked white wine from California. Bonterra Chardonnay is medium-bodied, with a luscious taste and rich but finely layered texture. The initial impression of buttery cream turns to aromas of green fruit mixed with nutmeg spice. In the mouth, toasted almonds follow pineapple and citrus fruit flavors.

Chardonnay is one of those grape varieties that can grow in any climate. However, it is early budding, so it has trouble when cultivated in areas with spring frosts. Generally, in cold and moderate climates, Chardonnay exhibits tastes of apple, pear, grapefruit, and Meyer lemon. In warm regions, it shows flavors of pineapple and banana, plus an intense creaminess. It is also common for Chardonnay to be heavily oaked, giving notes of cassis and vanilla spice.

Bonterra Chardonnay Review

  • Winery — Bonterra
  • Country/Region — United States, California, Mendocino
  • Type — Californian Chardonnay
  • Aroma — Honeysuckle, Apple, Pear, Grapefruit, Smoke, Nutmeg Spice
  • Grapes — Chardonnay
  • Taste — Pineapple, Mango, Peach, Orange, Lemon Zest, Caramel, Flint, Toasted Oak
  • Alcohol Content — 13.5%
  • Sugar — Dry
  • Pairing — Creamy Garlic Scallops, Steamed Lobster, Seared Salmon, Pepper Jack Stuffed Chicken

Bonterra worked magic and has produced a compelling Chardonnay with a distinctive woody character. Smooth, creamy, and with an abundance of ripe tropical fruit. Bonterra Chardonnay is impressive. The caramel notes on the mouth match the buttery mouthfeel, while the vibrant acidity refreshes. Balanced and savory with a lingering and spicy finish, with Bonterra Chardonnay, wine enthusiasts are in for a good one.

Overall Rating: 4.2

  • Fragrant
  • Vivid acidity
  • Richly textured
  • Lovely finish
  • Aging potential
  • Slightly Sweeter Aftertaste Than Needed

Tasting Notes

An impressive tasting profile for a barrel-fermented Chardonnay, Bonterra combines almost seamlessly primary fruit aromas and flavors with ripe tropical tastes and a spicy, charred wood character. Moreover, the creamy palate is framed by a backbone of minerality and vibrant, uplifting acidity. The finish is long and fruity as a toffee-like sensation lingers. Delicious and stimulating, Bonterra Chardonnay celebrates its oak profile in every sip. It is terrific, a rhapsody of California wine-making in every glass.


Bonterra Chardonnay has a dazzling, straw-colored shade as it pours, managing to capture everyone’s attention. The center is semi-opaque due to the malolactic conversion and barrel-fermentation and further develops into a medium golden color on the sides. The legs of the wine are long, watery, and fascinating, suggestive of the structured body. Bonterra Chardonnay, therefore, has a bold but welcoming and pleasing appearance.


Bonterra Chardonnay starts with delicate aromas of flower blossom followed by green fruit notes. Sweet-smelling honeysuckle blend with apple and pear for a crispy nose. After a few swirls, though, a hint of citrus and grapefruit emerges before interlacing with a luscious bouquet of smoke and nutmeg spice. These aromatic layers are what make Bonterra Chardonnay so distinctive and delightful. They add finesse and elegance.


In the mouth, Bonterra Chardonnay has a buttery cream palate, it is a savory delight. Exotic fruits mingle with peach and orange blossom as the wine flows into the mouth. Ripe pineapple and mango flavors accompany brioche bread notes, a caramel-like sensation, and a trace of oak. A slight hint of lemon zest seems to linger as well as if coming directly from the fragrant, aromatic bouquet. Eventually, a touch of flint leads to an ultra-clean and uplifting acidity that offsets the ripeness. As a consequence, Bonterra Chardonnay has a fulfilling mouth, with ample creaminess and smoothness.


The finish is long, fruity, and lingering. A toffee flavor emerges just before the wine glass is set on the table, while the toasted oak is still present. With such a creamy finish reminiscent of caramel, Bonterra Chardonnay concludes the tasting profile dynamically. A quite spectacular ending, to be honest.


Bonterra Chardonnay is a complex white, as it is oak-fermented. I would even call it an insanely good Chardonnay as it succeeds in balancing the intense creaminess with fresh fruit aromas. Another thing that it does well is that, despite being rich in toasty flavors, it is not overwhelming. As a consequence, it is pleasant as it has just the right amount of sweetness and bitterness. Try a glass now!

Bonterra Chardonnay Food Pairing

Bonterra Chardonnay is the ultimate wine choice to pair with seafood. A hearty portion of creamy garlic scallops or steamed lobster glazed with butter complement the exotic nature of the wine. As expected, oily fish also makes a solid combination with this Chardonnay. For instance, seared salmon along with a glass of Bonterra Chardonnay is what every wine enthusiast needs for absolute satisfaction. Finally, pepper-jack stuffed chicken makes a good pairing option, as the wine’s creaminess matches the cheesy goodness.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Makes Bonterra Chardonnay?

Bonterra Chardonnay belongs to Bonterra Organic Vineyards, located in Mendocino County, California. Founded in 1987 as an exclusively organic winery, Bonterra Organic Vineyards has evolved from a small brand to a class leader. Inspired by the quality of organically farmed vegetables, the company was among the first in California to embrace organic farming practices for vines. Bonterra Organic Chardonnay’s signature style, offering flavor, purity, and a balanced character, laid the foundation for a loyal following, which continues to grow today.

As such, in 2016, Bonterra Organic Vineyards saw domestic growth of almost twenty percent. It is found everywhere in the United States and twenty-three countries around the world. What would a winery be without a dedicated winemaker? Well, Jeff Cichocki is the Director of Wine-making at Bonterra Organic Vineyards. Since 2007, he has shared his wealth of knowledge and inspiration with the rest of the group.

How Is Bonterra Chardonnay Made?

Chardonnays are wines that can be either entirely straightforward or creamy and complex. For this reason, the grapes need careful handling to avoid oxidation and acidification. That said, Bonterra Chardonnay has undergone barrel-fermentation and maturation in oak barrels. Following harvest, the grapes are de-stemmed, crushed, and pressed to release their juice. Then, that juice is clarified to preserve pure fruit character. Instead of being placed into stainless steel tanks to undergo cool fermentation, seventy percent of Bonterra Chardonnay grapes ferment in a combination of French and American oak barrels.

These oak-fermented grapes are then given malolactic fermentation to form a rich, creamy texture on the palate and soften the mouthfeel. Afterward, the wine matures for six months, with a portion in stainless steel vessels and the rest in a combination of French and American oak barrels. When this is over, the final blend creates a balance between vibrant fruit flavors and notes of smoke and nutmeg spice.

Where Is Bonterra Chardonnay Made?

Bonterra is made from Chardonnay grapes, cultivated in Mendocino County, California. Mendocino County is large and diverse and includes the Anderson Valley, a grape source for aromatic white wines. In comparison to other California wine-making regions, Mendocino experiences warmer, drier conditions protected behind coastal hills. The wines here are full-bodied with soft tannins and often made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, and Syrah varieties.

California is the center of the American winemaking industry. The favorable Mediterranean climate allows the production of aromatic and fruity wines. It also provides vital warmth to the grapevines, resulting in elegant wines. Unlike wines produced in other parts of the world, California wines usually lack complexity and great elaborateness. Conserving their fruitiness, they remain delicate, ignoring unnecessary structure.

How to Serve Bonterra Chardonnay?

The only way to serve Bonterra Chardonnay is well-chilled at forty-three to forty-five degrees Fahrenheit (six to eight degrees Celsius). Afterward, feel free to pour it in standard-sized white wine glasses. The large surface of the glass provides aeration to the wine. As the air comes into contact with the wine surface, it encourages the fruitiness to elevate for unlimited pleasure.

To fully enjoy the wine, though, ensure that it remains cool by placing it in an ice bucket or wine cooler. The bucket should be filled three-quarters full with equal quantities of ice and water so that iced water surrounds the bottle. The water is then able to transfer the heat from the bottle to melt the ice. Air acts as an insulator, and the bottle chills. But remember that over-chilling hides the flavor in whites. So be careful with that.

How Much Does Bonterra Chardonnay Cost?

Bonterra Chardonnay has an average price point. That said, it is affordable, nonetheless. Bonterra Chardonnay price ranges from $13 to $17. The sale price depends on the vintage and vendor. Therefore, this bottling is purchasable without significant cost consideration. After all, Bonterra is a great Chardonnay, it is inviting and welcoming and wine fans are sure to cherish that. So don’t wait, just buy it.

How Long Does Bonterra Chardonnay Last?

Chardonnay wines are fitting for bottle aging, unlike most white wines. Following aging, flavors of almond, hazelnut, dried apricot, and marmalade should have developed. As Bonterra Chardonnay wine has undergone barrel-fermentation and oak aging, it an ideal candidate for long-term storage as its rich body can endure the process admirably. That said, I would recommend consuming it within three to four years from the date of bottling.

To successfully mature the wine, you need to seal it with a cork and store it in an environment with room temperatures that do not fluctuate (fifty to sixty degrees Fahrenheit or ten to fifteen Celsius) together with a degree of humidity. Direct sunlight or artificial light better be avoided as they may spoil the wine’s fruity nature. Odors also have to be kept at bay, as they might find their way inside the bottle and instill uninspiring flavors, like vinegar.

How Many Calories Does Bonterra Chardonnay Have?

Bonterra Riesling is a suitable dietary choice, with a standard caloric density. There are about 24 calories in 1 fluid ounce of the wine and approximately 121 per serving. The calorie breakdown is 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of sodium, 2g grams of total carbohydrate, 0 grams of protein, and 0.02 grams of total sugars. Bonterra Chardonnay calories do not need monitoring. As a result, it is a good beverage option for consumers on low-carb or low-sugar diets. Bonterra Chardonnay alcohol content is 13.5% per 750ml bottle which is a regular alcoholic concentration for a Californian oaked wine.


Bonterra worked magic and has produced a compelling Chardonnay with a distinctive woody character. Smooth, creamy, and with an abundance of ripe tropical fruit. Bonterra Chardonnay is impressive. The caramel notes on the mouth match the buttery mouthfeel, while the vibrant acidity refreshes. Balanced and savory with a lingering and spicy finish, with Bonterra Chardonnay, wine enthusiasts are in for a good one.

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