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Starting their own Napa Valley-based project in 1980, the Rombaeurs had to bottle their Chardonnays at the Stag Leap Cellars winery until theirs was built. By 1982, they had finished their own state-of-the-art winery, an incredible spot which would serve as the winemaking home for Dominus, Neyers, Spottswoode, Duckhorn, Merryvale, and Corison, amongst others, for decades to come.
Though having their own winery was huge, arguably the biggest breakthrough for the Rombauer family came in 1990 when they first purchased grapes from the Sangiacomo family, some of the most iconic Napa Valley winegrowers of all time. From there, it was game over for the competition.
Just two short years later, Rombauer Chardonnay would be featured on the coveted Wine Spectator Top 100 list, the first of six trips to the Top 100 (!) for this iconic bottling. By 2004, they would be named to Wine + Spirits Magazine’s annual ‘Top 10 Most Popular Restaurant Chardonnays,’ a spot which they have held for Every. Single. Vintage. Since. A true driving force.
This is the first year that I’ve been able to offer up this special bottling — a Chardonnay style that competitors have been trying to replicate for 30 years yet still fail to make nearly as well. It’s a bold, unapologetic Chardonnay with juicy notes of peach, lemon sorbet, baking spice, and vanilla with a rich, creamy middle and plenty of natural acidity to balance it out. The lemon vanilla finish is perhaps the wine’s calling card, or perhaps it’s the sheer drinkability of it all. Either way, it’s a Chard that people adore.
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