Gold Medal Chards for Every Budget!

Tasting Notes

Suffice it to say it’s not too difficult a task to find a good, expensive wine; but in a challenging economic climate it’s a joy to find well made value wines that are delightful on the palate and easy on the pocketbook.    As you may know, in the wine world there are fans of the “ABC” club (Anything But Chardonnay); but truth be known, Chardonnay remains one of the most widely planted, extensively sold dry white wine varieties in the world. 

Here is a peek at the Gold Medal winning (G) Chardonnays  UNDER $20, some of which gained Double Gold (GG) status (unanimous Gold acclamation from the category’s judging panel) at the 2011 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, which I had the pleasure of judging once again.  Some may surprise you, some may excite you, and others may not.  But remember, wine is a personal choice.  It’s all about YOUR palate; no one else can take that away from you.   I’ll assure you there will be a few of these value wines that will suit your palate deliciously, and bargains they are:

Chardonnay; price category up to $9.99:

  • Motos Liberty Cellar 2009 (GG)
  • Redwood Creek 2009, California (G)
  •  Harlow Ridge Winery, Lodi  (G)
  • Round Hill 2009, California (G)
  • Barefoot Cellars NV, California (Best of Class)
  • Bogle Vineyards 2009, California (GG)
  • Liberty Creek 2009, California (G)
  • Montpellier 2009, California (G)

Chardonnay; price category $10.00 to $14.99:

  • Main & Geary 2009, Sonoma County (G)
  • Quail Ridge 2007, Napa Valley (GG)
  • Forest Glen 2009, California ((G)
  • Estancia 2009, Monterey County (G)
  • Biltmore Estate 2009, North Carolina (G)
  • Snapping Turtle 2009 (G)
  • Main Street 2009, Santa Barbara County (G)
  • Angeline Winery 2009. Sonoma County/Santa Barbara County (G)
  • Peirrano Estate Vineyards 2008, Lodi  (G)
  • Parducci Wine Cellars 2009, Mendocino County (G)
  • Naughty Boy 2009, Potter Valley (G)
  • Toasted Head 2009, California (G)
  • Nottingham Cellars 2009, Livermore Valley (GG)
  • Cameron Hughes 2009, Los Carneros Lot 209 (GG)
  • Cameron Hughes 2009, Carneros Lot 214 (Best of Class)
  • Concannon 2009 Conservancy, Livermore Valley (G)
  • Terra Savia 2009, Mendocino (GG)
  • Irony 2009, Napa Valley (G)
  • Fog Head 2009, Monterey (G)
  • Geyser Peak Winery 2009, Alexander Valley (G)
  • Wente Vineyards 2009 Morning Fog, Livermore Valley (GG)

Chardonnay; price category $15.00 to $19.99:

  • Pear Valley 2009, Paso Robles (G)
  • Clos du Bois 2009, Russian River Valley (Best of Class)
  • Roche Winery 2009 (Stainless Steel Fermented), Carneros  (G)

A record breaking 5050 entries from 23 states were judged at this year’s SF Chronicle Wine Competition (always a well organized, highly touted competition).  These value priced Gold Medal winners have a lot to be proud of, and consumers have plenty to savor.   If you would like to learn more about all the award winning wines and info regarding the 2011 Public Tasting of the winning entries at Fort Mason on February 19, 2011, visit   Cheers!