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Neyers Vineyards Bruce's Journal

Kind Words for Our 2021 Chardonnay ‘304’

By Bruce Neyers

Friday 19th May, 2023

The ‘Wine Spectator’ for June 30, 2023 includes a favorable review of our 2021 Chardonnay ‘304′, and we thought you might enjoy hearing what they had to say. Here’s their review:

Neyers 2021 ‘304’ Chardonnay
“Fresh, clean and crisp, showing a core of Meyer lemon, Honeycrisp apple and pear flavors that are intense and juicy, with a hint of crunchy sea salt lingering on the finish. Drink now.”
90 POINTS –– MaryAnn Worobiec.

This is the wine we like to think of as our ‘Chablis-style’ bottling of Chardonnay, as most of the grapes come from the chilly Carneros District vineyard of Paul Larson, in a rocky patch of land just south of Highway 121, near the Napa County line. Most of the Larson Vineyard is planted to Shot-Wente selection, so the clusters are small, and full of ‘petite berries’, grapes that have a disproportionate amount of flavor due to the high ratio of skin to juice. The wine is cold fermented for two months, and allowed regular contact with the yeast lees, which adds flavor, texture and stability. There’s some additional contact with the yeast lees after fermentation is complete, then the wine is settled naturally, cold-held for a week or so, then filtered, prior to bottling in March following the harvest. The finished wine is bright and fresh, with high natural acidity, and low pH. This highlights the crisp, lemon zest character in the finish, and the absence of oak contact allows these flavors to shine in all their natural splendor.

Barbara makes a wonderful dish of breaded chicken breasts, sautéed in a cast-iron pan with olive oil. She finishes it off with a splash of fresh Meyer lemon juice just before serving. It’s one of my favorite meals, and I ask for it every year on my birthday. It’s perfectly suited to this wine.

Breaded Chicken Breast with Lemon

Serves 4


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts pounded thin
  • ½ cup of flour
  • ½ cup fresh sourdough breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup grated Italian Parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 4 Meyer lemons cut into wedges


  1. In a shallow dish whisk eggs together with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  2. In another shallow dish put flour.
  3. In a third dish combine the breadcrumbs and grated Parmesan cheese.
  4. Coat each chicken breast with flour, shaking off excess.
  5. Dip the chicken in the egg mixture, and then dip in the breadcrumbs and Parmesan mixture turning twice, and pat so the mixture adheres to the chicken.
  6. At this point you can refrigerate the chicken breasts and cook the next day.
  7. Put remaining olive oil in a cast-iron skillet and cook the chicken over medium heat until chicken is browned, approximately 4 minutes per side.
  8. Adjust heat as necessary during cooking.
  9. Salt and pepper chicken before serving.
  10. Serve chicken on a platter garnished with Meyer lemon wedges.
Paul Larson stands watch over his south Carneros District Chardonnay vineyard
Paul Larson stands watch over his south Carneros District Chardonnay vineyard. This is looking northwest, towards the hills separating Sonoma from Petaluma.
A cluster of Shot-Wente selection Chardonnay grapes

A cluster of Shot-Wente selection Chardonnay grapes from the Larson vineyard. Note the different sizes of the individual berries.

Barbara's breaded chicken breasts

Barbara’s breaded chicken breasts, just out of the cast-iron frying pan, and about to be splashed with some fresh Meyer lemon juice, then enjoyed with a bottle of Neyers 2021 Chardonnay ‘304’.

Neyers Chardonnay 304 Sonoma County Label