Arnot-Roberts Napa Valley Chardonnay Watson Ranch Vyd. 2018

White Wine from California, United States
by Arnot-Roberts

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Arnot-Roberts' latest vintage of the Watson Ranch Chardonnay maybe there best yet. The Watson Ranch vineyard is on a steep hillside overlooking the San Pablo Bay, at the southernmost end of the Napa Valley. It was planted in 1993 on marine deposits over limestone, the latter a relatively rare find in California and a key to preserving this wine’s electric finish. For Arnot-Roberts, this exposed, wind-whipped vineyard hits all the right notes—showcasing the cooling effect of the San Pablo Bay on that end of Napa/Carneros.

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Duncan Arnot Meyers and Nathan Lee Roberts, along with a small group of fellow trailblazers, have led the way in helping redefine what California wine can be and taste like. Their wines have a deep sense of terroir, refined and elegant structure and are deliciously complex. In 2001, when they began this endeavor, finding local wines with these qualities was tough. But along with their aforementioned colleagues, they started a small revolution and these days you can walk into many a wine shop and find an example of what's been coined, “The New California Wine”.

But, perhaps a better sobriquet for Duncan and Nathan's wines might be The New California Classic. Their wines are a nod to the great California wines made in the decades before Parkerization. They have shown that California is capable of producing wines that shine in their youth and will gracefully age to glorious full maturity.

Arnot Roberts has become synonymous with New California wine in a lot of ways. Since their founding in 2001, they've spent a lot of time scouring the state for some of the best previously unknown vineyard sites, doing so with a respect for the environment that is nothing short of remarkable. They work with all their growers to encourage organic farming and minimize their environmental impact: these are wines that are not only delicious, but that you can feel good about drinking.

Like all great winemakers, the cornerstone of Duncan and Nathan’s approach starts in the vineyard. They are dedicated to finding super distinct and unique sites from Mendocino in the North to the Santa Cruz Mountains South of the Bay Area. Their enormous respect for California’s terroir have led them to some of the state’s most celebrated vineyards. But they aren’t just about the famous sites; they know the state is full of amazing and still unheralded regions and they’ve done an incredible job of hunting out great vines in very special spots.

Professional Reviews

Antonio Galloni

AG 92
"The 2018 Chardonnay Watson Ranch is creamy, open-knit and expressive, and also the most approachable of the Chardonnays in the range. Orchard fruit, chamomile, almonds and dried flowers all meld together seamlessly. This is a very pretty Chardonnay from a cool site at the southern end of Napa Valley." -Antonio Galloni


D 92
"Sourced from the southernmost vineyard in Napa County, often tapped as a source for sparkling wines, Arnot-Roberts’ bottling of Watson Ranch Chardonnay was fermented in stainless steel and aged in neutral French oak for 10 months. The nose is clean and focused, showing jasmine, lemon meringue and freshly baked pastries that lead to a taught, structured palate. Hold this wine for the next couple of years for a touch more richness to come to the fore. Drinking Window 2022 - 2032"


  • Country

    United States

  • Region


  • Grape Variety


  • Vintage


  • Size


  • Farming Practice


  • Style

    Aromatic , Fruity , Rich

  • Sweetness


  • Body

    Medium Bodied