2016 Hartford Court Chardonnay Russian River Valley
Our biggest Chardonnay hit of the year returns! The new vintage of Hartford Court’s crowd-pleasing, yet ultra-sophisticated Russian River Valley Chardonnay is back in stock. Hartford Court, you see, has undergone a decade-long sea change from the day when this winery was best known for its oak and fruit-driven powerhouse Chards, Pinots and Zins. The words we now hear most about their wines are finesse, polish and class.
The secret has been the gradual maturing of their estate vineyards, many of which are planted in some of the most extreme climates in northern California, as well as a gradual but steady maturation of winemaking style. From foggy spots in Marin County near Point Reyes all the way up the coast to the distant ranges over the town of Annapolis, Hartford is now making some of the most stylish and confident wines we’ve tasted in a long time. Though we’re still salivating over their lithe, earthy Marin County Pinot Noir and the powerful but elegant Highwire Russian River Zinfandel (also in stock), the wine that most admirably shows this current, more mature direction at Hartford is their wonderfully affordable Russian River Valley Chardonnay.
Coming from some of Hartford’s most important estate vineyards in the heart of the AVA; names like Fog Dance (a well-known past source for DuMOL), Arenndell and Bloomfield are important pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that shows the character of all three reaches of the Russian River in all their glory. Extended lees stirring and 20% new French oak add nuances rather than dominate a wine built on really taught, beautifully articulated fruit with impressive layers of the purest RRV flavors you’ll find anywhere. Rich in apple pie-like flavors (baked apples, biscuit, vanilla and spice), it’s balanced with nice citrus and floral notes and a surprisingly long lemon drop finish. Full-bodied without any sense of heaviness, there is a lot of wine here for the money. The perfect wine for having around when there is fish, seafood, poultry or nothing in particular on the menu
Lots of hype for a wine that costs only $26, right?
We think you’ll find it worth it.