This week, we are continuing our celebration of California Wine Month. As the month comes to a close, we are excited to end our celebration with a great price on a 90+ point white wine that is perfect to drink all year long.
Last week, in not so many words, we declared that Cabernet Sauvignon is the King, in California. If that is true, then Chardonnay is certainly the Queen! In California, the Sonoma Coast is home to many of the highest rated Chardonnays which is why when Chalk Hill came out with its own bottling a number of years ago that retailed for about $20 bucks, I had to try it. Their estate grown Chardonnay had always been one of my favorite West Coast Chardonnays. But at around $40 a bottle, it was always more for special occasions. Over the years, the Sonoma Coast has become a favorite in the stores at the regular price, so if you know this wine already, this is a great time to stock up. If you are new to this wine, this is a perfect time to taste for yourself!
Chalk Hill was founded in 1972 by attorney Fred Furth, who was flying his plane over the Russian River Valley and noticed a natural amphitheater woven into the hills in the eastern portion of Sonoma County. After investigating the soil and micro-climate, he decided to build the winery and plant vineyards here in what later became the Chalk Hill AVA. It is now an incredible 1300-acre property, 300 acres planted to vineyards. These 300 or so acres are actually made up of 60 smaller vineyard sites, each specially chosen for the appropriate varietal. It was important for Furth to leave as much acreage wooded and the wilderness thrives up here in the high elevation. From the winery you can see the Russian River Valley to the west and the Mayacamas Mountains to the east.
Today's Chardonnay is sourced from many of the top Sonoma County AVA's including the estates own Chalk Hill AVA vineyard, Russian River Valley and Carneros. While there is a nice creamy texture from malolactic fermentation and resting on its lees, it's the long, juicy finish that always brings me back for another sip. Fans of Chalk Hill Winery should note, we will be bringing back their excellent Estate Grown Sauvignon Blanc very soon.
This complex Chardonnay is another example of “affordable luxury” made at a top estate from a winemaker with over 30 years of experience. Stop by or order online to reserve!
91 Points - Wine Spectator
Well-integrated flavors of Gala apple and ripe Bosc pear are swathed with creamy richness in this broad-textured style, with cooking spice accents lingering on the mouthwatering finish.
93 Points – The Tasting Panel
Cool climate fruit from the rugged Sonoma Coast shows itself through the clean, crisp entry, while grapes from Foley Family Estate vineyards in Carneros and Chalk Hill also add depth of character. With 100 malolactic fermentation and barrel aging sur lie in French, American and Hungarian oak, this glossy coated white has some marvelous components that show through in flavor and texture. Notes of lemon curd, caramel and sandalwood revive the senses. The liquid slides across the palate, exacting with fine acidity. Apple pie and cinnamon add to a creamy finish.
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