Price Range : $25 - 30
Region: Russian River Valley, Sonoma, California Ready to Drink: 2-3 years after bottle vintage
Whenever that list of greatest Sonoma County wines is assembled, a HARTFORD COURT Chardonnay has got to be on it.
My choice is the winery’s Russian River Valley Chardonnay. The 2017 bottling reminds us why some classics remain classics, even when times change and palates change along with the times. Hartford Court makes a long line of single-vineyard Chardonnays that are highly favored among connoisseurs, but it is the moderately-priced, entry-level Russian River Valley cuvée that is most accessible to all across the great divide while still having plenty of that Hartford magic in the bottle.
The wine captures the epitome of the Russian River AVA’s elegance and sophistication when it comes to Burgundian grape varietals. On the nose are warm notes of lemon drops, honeysuckle and tangerine essential oil, with a touch of flintiness that offers a clue to the Chardonnay’s emphatic complexity and personality. The long finish is a thing of beauty—gaining power as the vivid sensation of warmth descends to the chest, ending on a note of succulent citrus that lingers in the throat. Before that memorable crescendo, the palate and intellect is struck by the wine’s linearity and clarity of structure albeit richness of flavor.
It’s stunning complexity for the money. Graceful yet powerful with its 14.5% ABV. Multifaceted in its medium-body and floral, pristine quality, so eager for its personality to be exposed. It has it all.
Classic in every way. –J.M.