2014 Maldonado "Farm Worker" Napa Valley Chardonnay SKU #1226015


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Tasting Notes

After working as the vineyard manager for Newton Vineyards for over 30 years, Lupe Maldonado bought a 10-acre piece of land in the cool southern tip of Napa (in Jamieson Canyon), and planted vineyards in the dark, gravelly clay soil. He brought in Jean Hoefliger from Newton as his consulting winemaker. Winemaker notes: "Clean and light with aromatics of white nectarine, citrus and orange blossoms... Fermented in stainless steel (67%) French oak (33%)."

Staff Reviews

  • Jeffrey Jones
    By: Jeffrey Jones
    K&L Staff Member
    This is a very easy to like Chardonnay. The nose is fresh and inviting. In the mouth it is juicy with nice bright California fruit but it is not over ripe and there are no oak flavors. The Farm Worker Chardonnay is clean and delicious and will go well with chicken or fish.
  • Joe Bruno
    By: Joe Bruno
    K&L Staff Member
    Fans of the richer, more oak-driven styles of California Chardonnay will enjoy this example from Maldonado quite nicely. Aromas of pineapple upside down cake, apple pie, green fig, and lemon zest play with oak driven characteristics of cedar and burnt sugar. Round texture on the palate, but pleasantly fresh and lively additionally. Poached pear, white nectarine, and yellow apple flavors are complimented by vanilla and baking spices. A fantastic price point as well; rare to see a Napa Valley Chardonnay for under $18
  • Jeff Garneau
    By: Jeff Garneau
    K&L Staff Member
    If it’s true that the best wines are made in the vineyard, this 2014 Maldonado "Farm Worker" Napa Valley Chardonnay couldn’t hope for a better pedigree. Lupe Maldonado has over three decades of vineyard management experience under his belt, and it shows. Fermented partially in stainless steel and partially in French oak, this is a crisp, focused effort that nevertheless offers plenty of ripe, sweet fruit.
  • Christina Stanley
    By: Christina Stanley
    K&L Staff Member
    The Maldonado Farm Worker Chardonnay is a focused and crisp expression of the varietal, fermented in steel, with the intensity of Napa Valley fruit. With no oak to get in the way of this beautiful fruit, the wine is light, mineral-driven and with refreshing acidity. Farm Worker is a perfect Chardonnay for those who are looking for an easy-drinking wine for light appetizers, or an extended brunch on a lazy summer day.
  • Jim Boyce
    By: Jim Boyce
    K&L Staff Member
    This is the "quintessential California" profile that so many Chardonnay drinkers prefer, but at under $18 and in a truly well-made style! It has the "buttery" profile, but with nice acidity to keep it from crossing into the "too heavy" territory; oak integration that doesn't overwhelm, and the classic tropical fruit notes that shine, all working in a well-balanced harmony. A true crowd-pleaser for your next cocktail hour event!
    Top Value!
  • Kelsey McNellis
    By: Kelsey McNellis
    K&L Staff Member
    Farm worker is ideal for Rombauer drinkers on a budget. It has the bold, buttery notes of Rombauer mixed with juicy Napa fruit. Great price point for a Napa Valley Chardonnay- don't miss out!
  • Alex Schroeder
    By: Alex Schroeder
    K&L Staff Member
    This is the wine Rombauer doesn't want you to know about!!! Rich, lush with elegant Napa fruit, a soft acidic edge, and the perfect dose of oak to make it EXTREMELY easy drinking. If Napa Chardonnay is your jam, you can't miss this level of quality for the price.
  • Dave Genevro
    By: Dave Genevro
    K&L Staff Member
    This was surprisingly good Chardonnay from our friends at Maldonado Vineyards. Great richness, lively and energetic. With great richness and follow through, this would be a close match to Rombauer or a Frank Family-styled CA Chardonnays. This is a very well-made wine for the price point. Enjoy!
    Top Value!
  • Andrew Stevens
    By: Andrew Stevens
    K&L Staff Member
    This Napa Chardonnay is a lovely, solid offering meant to be an everyday drinker for the vineyard workers of Maldonado Winery. Lupe Maldonado came from Mexico and worked for Sterling Vineyards before going to work for Peter Newton, where he spend 30 years overseeing the vineyards for Newton. This wine is a celebration of his hard work and memories of long days. Juicy fruit and buttered toast are immediately present on the nose and create a wonderful weight on the palate. Hints of lemon, brioche, and kiwi are balanced by oak, allowing just the right amount of tannin on the finish. Overall, this was an exceptionally well-balanced wine, and at a fantastic price for a Napa Chardonnay.


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