Stony Hill Chardonnay, Napa Valley, California 2014
93 POINTS, CELLAR SELECTION
"This producer is well respected for its long reputation of making ageworthy whites and this vintage is no exception, a bright, complex and nutty expression of pear and ginger cookie. Textured and restrained, it shows a wealth of structure and lemony acidity. Cellar it away until 2024 if you can."
Napa Valley, CA
The 2014 Chardonnay is an exciting wine. The combination of dry farming methods and three years of drought conditions created concentrated fruit at harvest leading to deep flavors in the wine.
Stony Hill Chardonnays are some of the most respected and highly-sought-after California wines in existence. Their style is best described as lean, bright, elegant and food friendly.
To achieve this style, they crush and press the grapes with minimum skin contact and ferment in neutral oak cooperage. When fermentation is complete, they rack the wine off the lees, in order to avoid the development of a yeasty flavor in the wine. They then age it in the neutral oak barrels, most of which are well over ten years old, allowing the wine to develop and mature without absorbing an oak flavor component that could mask the natural fruit. In addition, they avoid a secondary (malolactic) fermentation in order to maintain the original acid structure of the wine and protect the fruit’s inherent citrus and apple components.
On the nose, you will get Stony Hill’s characteristic mineral and river stone notes, along with citrus blossom, white flowers and lemon zest. On the palate, it’s clean and crisp with hints of green apple and a vibrant, dancing acidity. It has a lovely lingering finish.