This vintage is the first at Newton for Alberto Bianchi, who had made wine at other Moët Hennessy properties in Margaret River, Marlborough and Mendoza after starting out in Italy. He focused this chardonnay on fruit from Carneros, with a contribution from Rutherford; it fermented spontaneously in French oak barrels (24 percent new) where it aged as well. It’s refreshing, firm and juicy, a sleek chardonnay that feels carefully crafted. Time in oak adds a salted caramel note to the brisk and earthy finish.
93 pts, Wine & Spirits, www.wine.com