Awards & Reviews

2009 CHARDONNAY – VIEILLES VIGNES

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92 POINTS – “From the estate vineyard on the Silverado Trail, this is always one of the better Napa Valley Chardonnay bottlings. The wine is rich in pineapple, pear, green apple and oak flavors, and is a little sweet. But is has brisk acidity and a nice scour of minerality.” – Wine Enthusiast, July 2011, Download Review

91 POINTS – “Sexy nose combines mandarin orange, spiced apple, flowers and minerals. Rich but with a firm spine of acidity giving shape to the subtle fruit, floral and leesy flavors. Not hugely concentrated in light of the reported 1.8 tons/acre yield, but this is graceful Chardonnay. The broad finish is dry, fresh, persistent and subtle.” – Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar. Download Review

91 POINTS, TWO PUFFS – “Deeper, richer and far more outgoing than the wine below, this one will appeal to those who like their Chardonnays to burst out of the glass and explode on the palate. Its crème brulee oak and ripe Golden Delicious apple fruit may veer to the obvious side, but they never lack for expressiveness, and, with clear drift towards refinement on its side in its moderated size, this bottling has one foot in the “large” camp and one in the restrained camp. It may not be classic, but it is good.” – Connoisseurs’ Guide to California Wine, Download Review

92 POINTS – “Thirty year old vines are behind the Vieilles Vignes estate chardonnay. At 1.8 tons per acre the yields are miniscule. The nose is a fresh mix of honey suckle and melon aromas flecked with tropical, floral notes. The attack is a fresh mix of green apple, citrus and spice with just a hint of caramel. Only 30 percent new oak leaves the entire wine with a vibrant, fresh, character that suggests it will age for well for many years. Well done.”

- www.gismondionwine.com, August 2012, Download Review

2008 CHARDONNAY – VIEILLES VIGNES

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92 POINTS – “The 2008 Chardonnay Vieilles Vignes Estate is one of those rare California Chardonnays that come from vines nearly 30 years of age. Exotic, restrained but authoritative scents of nectarines, tangerines and orange blossoms emerge from this light straw/gold-colored wine. Full-bodied with zesty acidity, lots of minerality and a rare intensity in the mid-palate, this impressive, structured Chardonnay’s framework is reminiscent of a red wine’s. It should drink nicely for at least 3-4 years, possibly a decade given its singular style. The wood is completely hidden by the wealth of fruit intensity.” – Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, Issue 192, December 2010, Download Review

93 POINTS – “An intense, nervy Chardonnay, grown on the estate along the Silverado Trail. Shows good acidity and a minerality that makes it elegant and firm, giving a bracing structure to the oak inspired flavors of pineapple tart, peaches and cream.” – Steve Heimoff, Wine Enthusiast, June 2010, Download Review

90 POINTS, ONE PUFF – “Presenting a bit of a conundrum in that it leads with very rich aromas of sweet fruit and abundant oak but follows with tight, still nascent flavors that fall short in delivering fully on the fruity promise of the nose, this big-bodied working seems held back just now by its youthful acids. That said, its richness and weight make it a good candidate for aging, and another year or two in the bottle should do the trick.” – Connoisseurs’ Guide to California Wine, Download Review

4 STARS – “Full bodied and complex in style, this is a supple, well balanced, moderately rich chardonnay, with a long finish, tasting of white peach, apple, honey, grapefruit, toast, and baked bread.” – Ronn Wiegand, Restaurant Wine, Issues #133 & #134, Download Review

91 POINTS – “Pale yellow gold colour. Open lemon, guava, spicy, pear, green apple, quince, nutty, leesy, waxy, peach aromas. Ripe, rich, warm, slightly fat but elegant palate. Baked apple, honey, guava, nutty lees, spicy, waxy, lemon butter, clove flavours. Good intensity if a touch warm on the finish. Drink now – 2 years.”
- Gismondi on Wine, Anthony Gismondi, November 2010, Download Review

4 out of 5 – “Very burgundian and sophisticated. this ain’t your over-oaked napa chard. Steely flavored with minerals. very little fruit. I paired it with teriyaki grilled chicken but it would go great with a nice fat filet of tilapia or some other mild fish.” – aronowm2, snooth.com, March 2010, see full review

2007 CHARDONNAY – VIEILLES VIGNES

90 POINTS – “The 2007 Chardonnay Vielles Vignes, which comes from a vineyard planted in 1980, reveals a greenish hue to its light gold
color in addition to a big, sweet kiss of spices, poached pears, baked apples, and tropical fruits. Burgundian-like in texture, with zesty acidity, a
medium to full body, and a touch of minerality, this serious Chardonnay should drink well for 3-4 years.”
- Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, Issue #186, December 2009, Download Review

90 POINTS – “The 2007 Chardonnay Vieilles Vignes is fashioned from 30-year old Chardonnay vines planted along the Silverado Trail.
Its attractive nectarine, orange marmalade, and white peach-scented bouquet is followed by a full-bodied white exhibiting crisp acidity, good underlying minerality, and a subtle touch of oak. It, too, can be drunk over the next 2-3 years.”
- Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, Issue #180, 12-31-08, Download Review

92 POINTS – “This is an intense wine, and a very young one. It’s tight and minerally, with stone, lees, citrus and sweet oak flavors that leave behind the impression of austerity. You could enjoy it now, but don’t serve too cold, and it will improve and become more complex with up to six years in the bottle.”
- Wine Enthusiast, Steve Heimoff, February 2009, Download Review

93 POINTS, #30 of top 100 wines for 2009 Canadian Wine Awards – “The nose is fresh and open thanks to only 23 per cent new oak. Look for mineral, peach skin, apple butter, vanilla, citrus aromas with a mineral honey streak in the back. The entry is round and rich with more citrus, spicy, nutty, butter, lemon and honey flavours. There is excellent finesse here, the kind that makes you want to finish the bottle. Will easily aged two to four years.”
- Anthony Gismondi, Wine Access, December 2009/January 2010, Download Review

92 POINTS – “Yellow-gold hue. Apple cidar and taosted oak aromas. Crisp dried fruit flavors including apple, pear and apricot. Brown spice, clove and toasted oak cap the lengthy close.”
- Wine News, May 2009, Download Review

92 POINTS – “2007 Signorello Vineyards Chardonnay Vieilles Vignes, Napa Valley, California, USA Chardonnay is sourced from some of the oldest Chardonnay in the region: 30 year old vines, 1.8 tons/acres. 25% new wood, 25% malolactic. A fragrant and delicate example of Napa Valley Chardonnay, with fine wood integration, ripe but not exaggerated tree fruit rich, full bodied palate, with generous alcohol and also a nice streak of minerality running through this. Balanced acid and long lingering finish. This should very age well.”

- John Szabo, Wine Access, May 16, 2009, Download Review

91 POINTS – “This is excellent Chardonnay to consume for the next decade or more. The medium to full-bodied, dense 2007 boasts sweet earth scents intermixed with crushed-minerals and white flour.
It shows opulent fruit, yet it is refined, and so sweet with copious apples infused with cantaloupe flavor that contributes to this outstanding White. This vintage is lengthy and hedonistic!”

- Alan Duran’s Periodic Review of Wine, March 16, 2010, Download Review

4 STARS – “Vieilles Vignes refers to the 30-year-old vines on Signorello’s Napa Valley estate from which the Chardonnay grapes for this wine are harvested. Part-time Vancouverite, Ray Signorello Jr.
should be proud of his latest version. I think it is gorgeous and elegantly crafted – laden with creamy pear and toasted, nutty aromas, a hint of melon and fire-roasted marshmallow.
The palate is rich and toasty layered with flavours of pear and praline. It has bright cleansing acidity and warm, exotic spices lounging on the finish.”
- Vines Magazine, April/May 2010, Download Review

92 POINTS – “The Chardonnay grapes that make up this wine come from Signorello’s 30 year old estate vines, hence the label Vieilles Vignes.
It is a gorgeous version – laden with creamy pear and toasted, nutty aromas, a hint of melon and fire roasted marshmallow. The palate is rich and toasty with layered flavours of
pear, sweet spices and praline…it has nice acidity and those warm, exotic spices lounge on the finish.
Nice elegance and the oak is deftly balanced with fruit.” – Daenna Van Mulligen, WineScores.ca, February 2, 2010,
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“The 2007 Vieilles Vignes Chardonnay, Estate, was also barrel fermented in French Oak, only eight percent completed malolactic fermentation and only 28% of the oak was new.
Soft oak over green apple introduces flavors of lemon peel, green apple, soft oak, and an unexpected note of peppermint hard candy. Everything carries through the medium-broad,
medium-long finish. Well put together and unusual.” - Harold Baer, Colorado Wine News, January – March 2009 issue, Download Review

4 out of 5 – “Great oaky start. Rich and viscous with lots of peach and red apple. Very fruity and this persists on a long finish.” – Philip, snooth.com, March 2009, see full review

2006 CHARDONNAY – VIEILLES VIGNES

92 POINTS – “Mineral peach skin, butter, vanilla, guava, melon, citrus aromas, with a honey, mineral streak. Rich, round, elegant, but crisp style, with good viscosity, but warm. Baked green apple, melon, citrus, spicy lees, nutty, butter, lemon and honey flavours, with a touch of bitter apple on the finish. A full, but austere, dry style with good aromatics and some big alcohol. It needs a year of 2 to settle down.” - Anthony Gismondi, Wine Access, Dec. 2008 / Jan. 2009

90 POINTS – “Ripe banana peel aromas with clove and charred oak. Soft peach, minerals, oak and glazed pecan flavors. Drying minerals and fresh acidity punctuate the finish.” – Wine News

“Here’s the problem: so many superlatives, so little space. I loved the silky texture, beautiful integration of oak and fruit, excellent balance of ripe fruit and acidity and seemingly endless finish. If you can resist savoring (and finishing) this lush, highly refined wine as an aperitif, pair it with flavorful poultry or pork dishes.”
- John Vankat, Arizona Daily Sun, August 27th, 2008

2005 CHARDONNAY – VIEILLES VIGNES

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“Ray Signorello Jr. is the kind of man who can get things done. And with all he’s got on his plate these days, he’d better be. First, there’s Signorello Vineyards, which Ray took over when his dad, Ray Sr., died in 1998. In the mid seventies, Ray Sr. purchased 100 acres of prime Silverado Trail land with the idea of selling grapes. In the plentiful 1985 vintage they had so much fruit they couldn’t sell it all. So just like that, the Signorellos went into the winemaking business. Twenty years later, Ray Jr. is still at it, dividing his time between homes in Vancouver , San Francisco , and Napa . With Pierre Birebent, Ray makes all the wine by the “vigneron” method employed in Burgundy . In this tradition, which we might call “winegrowing” here, the winemaker takes part in every step of the process—from grape
selection (hand sorted three times) to fermentation (native yeasts) to bottling. “We don’t use any consultants,” says Ray; “everything is done in-house. The right way. The old way— where it’s the vineyards and the owner’s philosophy that leads us.” Signorello’s current releases are testament to the quality that comes from this practice, including the elegant and tantalizing 2005 Estate Chardonnay, Vieilles Vignes ($38, 90 points) and the stylishly restrained 2003 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon ($40, 91 points). On top of his work at Signorello, Ray has started a side project called Edge Wines with three of his boyhood friends. Meant to be a premium Napa Valley Cab at a far from premium price, the luscious 2003 Edge Cabernet Sauvignon ($20, 90 points) accomplishes precisely that. Add to that Ray’s California Cult Classics project— a
private club in which members can make wine in Vancouver (and, soon, other cities) with optimal Napa Valley fruit—and you can see just how full his plate is. But Ray Jr.’s just the kind of guy who can get it all done.” – Blue Reviews

2004 CHARDONNAY – VIEILLES VIGNES

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93 POINTS – “This is another enticing, attractive sophisticated chardonnay from Signorello. Spicy lees, muted vanilla, and tropical fruit tones mark the nose. The textures are rich yet elegant with fine acidity. Again, the oak is being handled very well and less malolactic (30 per cent) allows the fruit to shine. Look for creamy spicy pear apple fruit flecked with orange rind. This is delicious chardonnay well above the Napa norm.” – Gismondi on Wine

2003 CHARDONNAY – VIEILLES VIGNES

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93 POINTS – “Enticing attractive notes of butter, spicy lees, vanilla, melon, orange and baked green apples mark the nose. Rich, round, elegant and concentrated on the mid-palate with fine acidity. Fine length and balance if a bit alcoholic in the finish. This is stylish Napa chardonnay.” – Wine Access: Canada’s Wine & Food Magazine, Dec/Jan 2005/06

2002 CHARDONNAY – VIEILLES VIGNES

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91 POINTS – “Heavily oaked, heavy on the lees, one of those wines that sits creamy and thick on the palate. The flavors are ripe and candied, suggesting vanilla ice cream, tangerines and sweet limes. A real lip-smacker, but has elegance and complexity.” – S.H., Wine Enthusiast Magazine, August 2004

92/100 POINTS – “At Signorello “Vieilles Vignes” means vines that are 24 years old and fruit that is unfiltered and native yeast fermented. The yields are a stunningly low 1.7 tons per acre on average. Less new oak and less toast is de rigueur nowadays at Signorello something we wish the rest of California would catch on to. The emphasis’ is more and more on fruit as evidenced by its rich apple/pear flavours and mineral streaks throughout. A complex heady, mouth-filling chardonnay with elegance.” – Gismondi on Wine

2001 CHARDONNAY – VIEILLES VIGNES

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90 POINTS – “A bit on the lean side, with apple and citrus flavors typical of the appellation. Acidity is sharp and mouthwatering. This is not a big, fat Chardonnay but it is a well-structured, food worthy wine, with oaky influences. This tight structure is very clean.” – S.H., Wine Enthusiast Magazine, June 2003

91 POINTS, TWO PUFFS -”Heavily laid-on oak extends from first sniff through to the long, moderately spicy finish of this fat and fully ripened wine, and, if it is arguably a bit more concerned with oak and lees than it is with classically defined fruit, it is positively mouthfullling and has richness to spare. It handily avoids the latter-palate dryness that so often attends Chardonnays high in both oak and ripeness, and it comes with wholehearted recommendations as a foil to the likes of well sauced salmons steaks.” – Connoisseurs’ Guide, April 2003

**** (four stars) – “Fleshy and full bodied, this is an extremely supple and fairly rich Chardonnay, tasting of apple, vanilla, orange blossom and toast. Medium long finish. Unfiltered.” – Restaurant Wine, Issue #93

94 POINTS – “This lusty white, grown from 23-year-old vines in the Oak Knoll section of Napa, balances its citrus energy with a more delicate floral aspect. There’s a quiet rose perfume, as if opening a book of pressed flowers, that builds into the layers of flavor as this wine takes on air. It adds detail to the burst of lemon fruit, the citrus flavors juicy as a freshly squeezed wedge of lime, compressed and checked by mineral scents and dried honeycomb savor of oak. It’s a refined wine for all its heady power, and it’s balanced to develop for years. Signorello Vineyards, Napa, CA.” – Wine & Spirits, reviewed by Joshua Greene and Patrick J. Comiskey