Landmark 2011 “Overlook” Chardonnay

Posted by Keith Wallace


At the Wine School, we don’t review wines that are produced by big corporations. We only care about unique wines made by small producers. Because of that, this is very likely the last Landmark Vineyards review we write.

This Sonoma winery was sold to Roll Global in 2011, which also owns POM, Fiji, and Justin Vineyards in Paso Robles. Nothing against the folks at Roll Global, but corporate ownership of a winery almost always leads to a reduction in quality and individuality.

Sure enough, Landmark’s winemaker, Eric Stern, left after the 2011 vintage. Eric crafted elegant Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. His history is an interesting one: he wasn’t a winemaker until this late thirties. He started as an anthropologist, took a 10-year detour in chamber music, and then into wine sales. Only then did he make the jump into winemaking in California.

Eric was the winemaker at Landmark since 1993, with help from Helen Turley early on. His assistant, Greg Stach, has taken over operations from the 2012 vintage onward.

chardonnay review
Landmark Chardonnay Overlook Sonoma County 2011

Wine Review:Landmark 2011 “Overlook” Chardonnay

This is a throwback to the ’90s. Not in the Tibetan prayer beads and fanny pack way, but a Jacques Derrida vein. This wine is built on the California Chardonnay framework: if your religion is BIG BUTTER, you can take your sacraments from this Chardonnay straight. But this wine is more than that. It is both BIG BUTTER and delicate nuance at the same time. It’s got a big-time postmodern vibe going on here.

I can’t help but feeling this wine is making fun of me for enjoying it.  Bottom line: this is the best buy for all you who love those big buttery Chardonnays.

Wine Rating: 89 Points

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