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In addition to rating specific wines, wine publications such as the Wine Spectator and Wine Advocate provide ratings for entire vintages. The word vintage is descriptive of the year in which the grapes were harvested, not the year that the wine was bottled.
According to the Wine Spectator, 2007 should be a banner year for California Chardonnay with the publication rating the Carneros, Napa and Sonoma regions each 96 points. This is very good news for the consumer because when several regions receive such a high rating, there will be a large selection of very good wines available at a low cost.
The 2007 crop benefited from the lack of spring frosts, summer heat waves, and fall rains — all of which allow the grapes to ripen in an even and uniform manner. This weather pattern provided winemakers with concentrated fruit containing an intense variety of flavors.
In comparison, 2006 was a wet and cool year, with the Carneros, Napa and Sonoma regions each rated 90 points. So if you're looking for a crisp white, check California's 2007 Chards.