The color of this wine is best described as pale straw with a slight tint of emerald green. The nose opens as a classic Chardonnay, with big aromas of pear and honeysuckle, accented with citrus zest and a tiny bit of flint. Stay with the glass a moment and you will note that the floral component opens up, delivering graceful notes of jasmine woven through with hints of butterscotch and oak.
The mouthfeel of this wine is supple and dense, balanced by a crisp, lively acidity. The palate opens with the fresh pear and citrus characters that define the Chardonnay grown at Belli vineyards. As you continue to taste, you will note that the fruit evolves an attractive tropical edge of papaya, blended with a tiny nuance of toasted oak and toffee. The palate leads to a delicate finish of baked apples, spice, and just a touch of honeydew melon.
This wine was fermented in French oak barrels and then aged in barrel for 11 months, where the wine completed malolactic fermentation. The 2018 Jos. Belli Chardonnay is completely accessible now, but if stored properly, it will continue to develop for at least the next decade.
A barrel sample, the 2017 Chardonnay Jos. Belli Vineyards has lovely yeasty/toasty scents over a core of white peaches, lemon tart, pineapple and lime leaves with orange blossoms and fresh ginger in the background. Medium to full-bodied, the palate delivers plenty of rich, ripe stone fruit and tropical scents with a pleasantly oily texture and great length.
Score: 92-94, Lisa Perrotti-Brown,