Winery Tasting Notes: HMR is the abbreviated name of Hoffman Mountain Ranch, the original vineyard planted by Dr. Stanley Hoffman. This historic property dating from the early 1960s is devoted exclusively to Burgundian grape varieties, rarely found in Paso Robles.
Katherine’s Vineyard Chardonnay is an ocean influenced, single vineyard expression of “refrigerated sunshine” in a glass – layered, elegant, distinct.
Winery Notes: This Santa Barbara Chardonnay is a selected blend. 50% from the Murmur Vineyard planted in sandy loam, which is located in the coolest corner of Santa Maria Valley. And 25% La Rinconada and 25% Sanford & Benedict Vineyards in the Sta. Rita Hills, situated on an extinct bend of the Santa Ynez River near Lompoc. Our block is planted mostly on alluvium and ancient river deposits.
From The Winery:
Few names are synonymous with California Chardonnay the way Kistler is. This winery almost single-handedly raised the bar to heights not seen before. The Les Noisetiers is a combination of three Sonoma Coast sites (Vine Hill Vineyard, Dutton Ranch, and Trenton Roadhouse) and emphasizes the area’s sandy Gold Ridge soils. The vinification draws on techniques used in Burgundy. The result is one of the most luxurious and complex white wines made in this county, possessing a minerality rare in New World Chardonnay.
From Liquid Farm: When putting together the final blend for our Golden Slope we are looking for barrels exhibiting a bit more richness and depth than the White Hill. Once those barrels are identified we introduce about 15% new French Oak and age the wine for 15 months prior to bottling. The resulting wine is something that reminds us of some of our favorites from Meursault.
The weather in 2018 was characterized by mild temperatures during the growing season that continued into harvest. The grapes from both of our vineyard sources were harvested on September 28th with an average sugar content of 22.6 Brix.
The grapes were whole-cluster pressed and the juice settled for 24 hours before it was racked to barrels for fermentation. After a 20-day fermentation, the barrels were topped off to begin barrel aging. Each lot was aged in French oak barrels for 14 months before being blended and prepared for bottling in late January 2020. In order to preserve the Chardonnay grapes’ aromatics and flavors, only 23% of the blended wine was aged in new French oak barrels.
The wine has a medium straw gold color. The aromas are a heady combination of spiced apples, pears and fresh pineapple. On the palate the wine is mediumbodied with a rich texture bolstered by the flavors of sweet corn and candied citrus fruit. The wine’s excellent acidity provides for a long, lingering and very satisfying finish.
This flavorful Chardonnay will pair well with a variety of seafood, roasted chicken and is perfect with Linguine with White Clam Sauce.
Tasting Notes: A lively flaxen gold, this wine features a harmonious nose that previews the playful balance to come on the palate. Scents of brown spice, toasted almonds, custard and light oak mingle with Meyer lemon zest, honeysuckle and a hint of apricot. Entry is round, as this wine's fruit and natural acidity build on each other, with echoes of brown spice, citrus and apricot enveloped in a creamy texture. A vibrant finish of lemon/lime showcases the distinctly bright acidity produced from the Monterey coast, leaving an enticing freshness that prepares the palate for another sip.
A deep and rich hue of golden straw gives the first clue that this is a serious Chardonnay. Aromas of pear, green apple, and lime peel jump out of the glass followed by more nuanced fragrances of orange blossom, ginger root, and brioche. The sensation on the palate casually demonstrates both broad depth and laser-like focus. An assertive core of acid and saline minerality rests completely ensconced in rich flavors of pie crust, clotted cream, and burnt caramel. Drink now for fresh vibrance, or in ten years for wild complexity.
Winery Tasting Notes: A perfect amount of oak aging provides distinct notes of blanched marcona almonds, toasted lavash bread, crème brûlée, and brown spice that round out the wine and lead to a long and bright finish.
"This intriguing and mineral-driven wine is defined by tension and balance. Le Souvenir opens with vibrant Hawthorne flowers, crushed rock, and key lime pie. The palate offers a steely entry of high-toned acidity and follow-through, marked by Meyer lemon zest and lime rind. The crisp and bright flavors linger for one of the lengthiest finishes in the lineup."
Rombauer Vineyards began producing Chardonnay in 1982. In 1990, the Rombauer family made their first Chardonnay from the Carneros region, where the San Pablo Bay meets the southern end of Napa and Sonoma valleys. There, the cool climate and clay soils offer ideal conditions for growing superior Chardonnay with the Rombauer hallmarks — intense fruit flavors balanced by fresh acidity.
The famed Sleepy Hollow Vineyard, located in the Santa Lucia Highlands, was designated one of California’s Grand Cru vineyards by Wine Enthusiast in 2016 for its ability to produce exceptional wines year after year, even under challenging conditions. With rolling hills and mountains, lush green land and bright blue skies, this vineyard has remarkable beauty. First planted in 1972, the vineyard is comprised of 565 planted acres divided into three vineyard parcels, Sleepy Hollow North, Sleepy Hollow West and Sleepy Hollow South. Each grows exclusively Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes.
Drawn from their favorite blocks, this Chardonnay is opulent with nimble details.
A son of Santa Barbara, Justin Tyler Willett began Tyler in 2005 at the age of 24 with a few barrels tucked away in the corner of the Sta. Rita Hills cellar he was working in at the time. It was there, as the assistant winemaker, he honed his approach to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
The Vintage: 2016 welcomed the end of the 3-year drought with some ground soaking precipitation. The wet winter was followed by intermittent rains during a mild spring. There was some extreme heat in the region during mid-to late September, but our fruit was picked by then and our vineyard was not affected. The vines welcomed the drought-relief by producing a good quality bloom and fruit set, followed by a long growing season and a healthy harvest. Still, the yields in 2016 were slightly below average throughout the region. The 2016 berries were plump and juicy. The long, cool growing season produced a complexity in the juice that is compelling. The climate and rugged topography of our site conveys all the attributes so special and unique to this place; power, elegance and density balanced with minerality and brightness, all framed with a strong sense of the nearby ocean.
The Site: Organically farmed on the cool climate on the banks of the Santa Ynez River, the vines get a generous blanket of fog each night which allows the grapes to ripen slowly, keeping a nice acidity to balance the wine's floral notes. The vines slip through rocky, silty soil, which gives a foundation of minerality along with layers of floral, honey and stone-fruit all balanced by citrus notes and a hint of the coastal fog.
Tasting Notes: Coming from multiple blocks planted on Sorrento loam soils with varying degrees of shale, river cobble, silty clay and limestone, the 2016 is a really fine example of all that the Santa Rita Hills can offer. The 2016 has strong structure with a distinct brightness and smooth texture on the palate, while still maintaining its energy, tension & focus.
Winemaking: The grapes were harvested in the wee morning hours, hand sorted and pressed whole cluster to a stainless steel tank with very low amounts of SO2 where the juice settled for 24 hours. The juice was then racked to barrel where it fermented and rested on the lees for 12 months in mostly neutral French barrels and went through full malo. It was then racked to stainless steel tank for an additional 6 months prior to bottling in February 2018. There is about 15% new French oak in the finished wine. There was no acidification or chaptalization.
Vinous Review: The 2016 Chardonnay Estate is a very pretty wine, with plenty of bright citrus, saline, white pepper and floral overtones. The interplay of structure and translucent energy is compelling. Light tropical overtones add nuance throughout.
Rating: 93 Drinking Window: 2018-2024 ~ Antonio Galloni
The Wine Advocate Review: The 2016 Chardonnay is excellent, offering up lovely notes of pastry cream and buttered orchard fruit, followed by a crisp, medium-bodied palate with good mid-palate depth despite its understated style, built around a bright line of acidity and finishing with nice purity and persistence.
Rating: 91 Drinking Window: 2018-2025 ~ William Kelley
This exceptional Chardonnay has a nose of pear and baked apple notes followed by citrus scents of honeyed lemon with a freshness minerality underlining the wine’s acidity. The palate holds a combination of candied lemon zest, with notes of browned butter and fresh flowers, complimenting the wines briny minerality.
Kessler-Haak Vineyard & Winery is a relatively small producer that owns a 30-acre vineyard in the AVA almost midway between Buellton and Lompoc on California's Central Coast. The small producer, Loring Wine Company, likes to make Chardonnays in a style that they phrase as, "Not gobs and gobs of butter and oak, but enough to add texture and depth."
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