Everyday Chardonnay – 2019 Hess Select



It’s one of the five most popular types of wines in the U.S. 


The question is asked often…

While there are plenty of reasonably priced

American Chardonnays available,

are there any good American Chardonnays in the $10-$15 range? 

The answer is yes

but “good” is a relative term.

It always comes down to individual preference.


Wine drinkers might have to do a little digging

to find the $10-$15 Chard that clicks for them

i.e., they might have to kiss a frog or two. 


But the pursuit and the process is worth the effort.


Basic RGB

It’s Wine Thursday!, our weekly writeup

focused on a good, affordable wine that’s easy to find,

either at your store, online or both. 


If you’re on the lookout for an inexpensive, quality Chardonnay,

we suggest that you include this week’s featured wine

in your quest.





Where it’s from

Over 40 years ago in Napa Valley, Donald Hess

began making small-lot wines.  Since then,

The Hess Collection has become one of the largest

family-owned, owner-operated wineries in California. 

The Hess portfolio now runs the gamut,

from entry-level offerings to $200 Cabernet Sauvignon.


What it is  

While Hess has expanded its reach into the luxury category,

the winery continues to produce a substantial amount of

high-quality affordable options,

including their 2019 Monterrey Chardonnay. 


This is a crowd pleaser. 

The oak and butter flavors

that you would expect from a California Chardonnay

are present but neither is out of proportion. 

Butterscotch, vanilla and lemon notes are up front. 

It’s somewhat lacking in acidity.  Thus, it comes off

as just a tiny bit on the flabby side. 

But that’s nitpicking. 

If you are evaluating inexpensive Chardonnays, 

you should include the Hess Monterrey

in your audition line-up.  

Make sure it is well-chilled before you pour.


Where to find it

The “Member Price” at Safeway for the Hess Chardonnay is $9.99. 

BevMo has it for $10.99. 

It’s at Vons for $11.10.

The price at Total Wine is $11.49. 

Ralphs has it for $12.49. 

It’s on the shelf at QFC and Fred Meyer for $13.99.   

You can order it from Buy Wines Online for $9.95  


B-21’s price is $9.99  


Binny’s sells Hess Chardonnay for $10.99  


Wine Library’s price is $11.09  


Wine.com has it for $11.99