Wine of the week: a top-flight Californian chardonnay

A beating heart of refreshing acidity electrifies this dynamic wine.

2018 De Loach Chardonnay
(Image credit: 2018 De Loach Chardonnay)

2018 De Loach, Chardonnay, Russian River Valley Chardonnay, Sonoma County, California

£25.49, reduced to £22.49 each by the case of six bottles,; £23.99,; £23.49,

The problem with tastings on Zoom and YouTube interviews is that there is nowhere to hide when you are asked to tell the audience your thoughts about a wine, particularly if you haven’t tasted it before. I always “say what I see” and this doesn’t always go down well! On a recent JCB LIVE interview with flamboyant wine magnate Jean-Charles Boisset I was put on the spot with one of his wines. Thank goodness it was stunning! In fact, it was so good that it leapt straight onto this page today.

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Of course one has to be prepared for a full-framed style when dealing with Californian chardonnay, so I was impressed to see that under the expressive, cool-climate, Russian River-influenced fruit there is a beating heart of refreshing acidity, which electrifies this dynamic wine. Made from a blend of fruit from three vineyards, each with their specific microclimates, this is a seriously fascinating new release and I was fully prepared for a £50 price tag.

So, if you are searching for a top-flight Californian chardonnay that doesn’t cost the earth then here it is, and if anyone puts you on the spot, I can assure you that you have nothing to worry about!

Matthew Jukes is a winner of the International Wine & Spirit Competition’s Communicator of the Year (

Matthew Jukes

Matthew Jukes has worked in the UK wine business for well over three decades and during this time has written 14 wine books.  

Matthew regularly lectures, judges, speaks at wine conferences and runs masterclass tastings for both corporate and private clients all over the world. Matthew is also the creator of his ground-breaking initiative, the One Day Wine School, an indulgent day of tasting and learning first performed in 2006.

He has been the MoneyWeek wine correspondent since 2006 and has written a weekly column for the Daily Mail’s Weekend Magazine since 1999. His four highly-acclaimed, annual wine reports – the Burgundy En Primeur Report, the Bordeaux En Primeur Report, the Piemonte Report and the 100 Best Australian Wines – are published on his website,

Matthew is one of the world’s leading experts on Australian wine and, with Brisbane-based wine writer Tyson Stelzer, runs an annual competition in Australia to find ‘The Great Australian Red’.  He was made Honorary Australian of the Year in the UK at the 2012 Australia Day Foundation Gala dinner. 

Matthew is a winner of the International Wine and Spirit Competition's Communicator of the Year Trophy.  His thoughts, recommendations and tastings notes are followed very closely by the wine world at large.