As the fires rage without and within, it’s good to know that wine always brings people together, a refuge from the battle against destructive forces that threaten to engulf us in ways both existential and palpably real. HEITZ CELLARS is a historic family property of Napa, established in 1961 in the town of St. Helena, and it’s a stalwart yet understated winery that’s withstood the test of time.
With a solid brand built around the reputation of an iconic Cabernet Sauvignon (the Martha’s Vineyard), the real treasure might be where you’re not looking. And that hidden treasure is their Napa Valley Chardonnay. The 2015 vintage bottling is beautiful and memorable in many facets. For starters, it’s very pretty to look at—a slightly hazy light straw that seems to emanate light from within. And the bouquet on this Chardonnay is just so pleasingly aromatic and floral—jasmine, acacia, white peach, citrus and tropical fruits. The wine’s lovely and generous on the palate too, with a full-bodied mouthfeel that’s ushered in from an initial—almost tangy—burst of citrus followed by the smoothness of buttery texture. A great Chardonnay is always in need of great structure, and it’s certainly solid here—bringing about a substantial sense of elegance, stature and poignancy.
If there was ever a time to come together, it is now. And you can count on one of Napa’s pioneering wineries and their poignant Chardonnay as a reminder that Napa is and always will be, indeed, #NapaStrong. –J.M.