Hartford Court Chardonnay 2017, Russian River Valley, CA
The Hartford Court Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2017 displays intense notes of grapefruit, green guava, mango and pineapple with nuances of talc, oyster shells and fresh ginger. The palate is medium-bodied, elegant and super intense with tightly wound layers of citrus and tropical fruits and bags of mineral notions on the epically long finish.
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Monthelie Blanc Cuvee Miss Armande 2015$38.00
Wedged between Volnay and Meursault, Monthelie produces vastly more red than white, making the 201 Chardonnay that much more unique and impressive: It is close to Meursault in both place of origin and style, showing serious power, perfume, and classic structure. Adding to the already considerable charm of this wine is its fantastic backstory. The name “Cuvée Miss Armande” refers (and pays tribute) to Armande Douhairet, who for many years helmed this family domaine. She had no heirs, and took the extraordinary step of legally adopting André Porcheret—a grown man and well-known Burgundy winemaking figure to boot—so that she could leave the domaine to him (she passed away in 2004).
In the glass, the 2014 “Cuvée Miss Armande” is a deep, reflective yellow-gold with slight hints of green at the rim. The nose is an assertive mix of Asian pear, apple blossoms, white flowers and Meyer lemon followed by notes of toasted hazelnut, white mushroom, beeswax, and even a hint of drawn butter (calling classic Meursault to mind). There’s a level of richness and accessibility that is perfectly framed by acidity, suggesting many years of positive evolution ahead. We’re intrigued to see what this wine becomes after 3-5 years more cellaring; my bet it that it will outperform lots of much-more-expensive competition. Enjoy this—it’s a truly fabulous Burgundy bargain!
Hahn Chardonnay 2018, Monterey County$22.00
The Chardonnay grape favors cooler climates. Most of the fruit for this wine grows in the Arroyo Seco appellation of Monterey County where cool winds from Monterey Bay bathe the vineyards. This climatic condition causes fruit to ripen slowly, resulting in balanced, vibrant flavors, while the region’s rocky-loam soils help juxtapose ripeness with acidity. Hahn’s own vineyards in Santa Lucia Highlands and Arroyo Seco AVAs are a significant source of fruit for this Chardonnay.
This rounded and supple Chardonnay delights with aromas of pineapple, mango, pear and vanilla that gracefully give way to flavors of green banana, baked apples and toffee. Its ample mouthfeel reveals a delicate acidity beautifully balanced with a lingering note of sweet butter on the creamy finish. They age this 100% Chardonnay in 40% new French oak, with the balance in neutral oak.
Saintsbury Chardonnay 2016, Carneros$30.00
When sourcing Chardonnay fruit, Saintsbury winemakers seek those Carneros vineyards that offer diversity in both aspect and clonal selection. The result is a complex and vibrant Chardonnay most reflective of the Carneros region. Lush nose of white nectarine, peaches, jasmine and meyer lemon. Tangy kumquat, Rampur lime, stone fruit, and chamomile on the palate with vibrant acid and a long layered finish. Nice mineral notes.Suggested Pairings: Simple braised chicken thighs with Meyer lemons and olives, whole grilled fish, and Cowgirl Creamery Mt. Tam or Cabot Clothbound Cheddar cheeses.