HDV Chardonnay

Hyde de Villaine

2016
Los Carneros, eastern edge
Hyde de Villaine (HdV) Chardonnay is distinctive from its Californian counterparts for its minerality, structure and natural acidity, all of which provide a fresh, seamless wine that pairs beautifully with food. Sourced from older-vine blocks at Hyde Vineyard, the 30-plus-year-old vines produce a wine of character and concentration. This wine is aged in French oak (20 percent new) for 12 months, followed by three months in stainless steel and an additional 14 months of bottle maturation. Reminiscent of grand cru Burgundy, this wine will age gracefully for two decades. • 2016 started with a cold and wet winter, which gave the vines a well-deserved dormancy after the fast-paced growing season of 2015. Bud break occurred in mid-March and was followed by a dry and warm spring. This resulted in a healthy and vigorous canopy and ideal pollination, resulting in a bountiful crop. o Heavy fog in early August slowed down the maturation process and allowed for optimal phenolic development while retaining the freshness and natural acidity Hyde Vineyard is known for. o This wine has been aged for 11 months in French oak; 80% barrels (20% new) and 20% foudre o o Only 2.387 cases of wine produced o Alcohol content - 13.9% • Tasting Notes o High-toned aromas of mandarin blossom and lemongrass frame a core of zested Meyer lemon and Freestone peach. This wine shows focus and precision, yet surprisingly balanced opulence. Crushed sea shell minerality flirts across the palate and accentuates the freshpicked pear and Braeburn apple flavors. Finishing with warming clove and a hint of gunpowder and flint, this wine expresses sophisticated elegance from start to finish. Its balanced composition promises enjoyment in its youth but also decades of ageability. —Guillame Boudet, Winemaker jamessuckling.com 95 Points , Feb 1st 2019 This is very dense and serious with freshness and powerful acidity that gives it intensity and focus. Goes on and on with so much floral and sliced-lime flavor and hints of white flowers, pear blossom and minerals. So beautiful to drink now, but will improve with age.
Variety
Chardonnay
Alcohol-abv
14%
Add to shopping cart
£79

California

California is the largest and most important wine region in the USA. It accounts for the southern two-thirds (850 miles or 1370 kilometers) of the country's west coast. (Oregon and Washington make up the rest.) The state also spans almost ten degrees of latitude. With mountains, valleys, plains and plateaux, California's topography is as complex as its climate, offering winegrowers a bewildering choice of terroir.

Californian wines only rose to global renown in the past few decades (notably after the Paris Judgment of 1976). However the state's viticultural history dates back more than 200 years. European vines were first planted here in the 18th Century, as settlers and missionaries made their way up and down the west coast. They brought with them the Mission grape – the vinifera variety also instrumental in establishing viniculture in Central and South America. Although very few Mission vines are to be found in California today, it remains a cornerstone of Californian wine.

The first half of the 20th Century brought war, Prohibition and the Great Depression to the United States. Collectively these suffocated the nation's wine industry. It wasn't until the significant social, cultural and economic developments that followed World War 2 that things began to change. In the 1970s, Californian wine industry leaders brought about renewed winemaking passion in other US states, in turn sparking the national wine renaissance. This period saw a proliferation of new, small-scale wineries throughout the country and the upscaling of longer-established operations. Momentum has continued into the 21st century.

Today, California hosts some of the world's largest wine companies. It is also home to a number of boutique wineries, some of which attract astronomical prices for their cult wines. Whether through mass production or single-vineyard artisanal winemaking, California produces 90 percent of American-made wine. It also supplies more than 60 percent of all wine consumed in the country. A record 211.9 million cases were produced in 2011.

The principal varieties grown in California are Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. A wide range of traditional European (Vitis vinifera) vines also flourish, including Pinot Noir, Merlot and Syrah. Zinfandel can also be included in the list as it is genetically identical to Tribidrag in Croatia and Primitivo in Italy. Among white grape varieties Sauvignon Blanc is a distant second to Chardonnay. These are grafted to hardy American rootstocks which are resistant to phylloxera. Less well known are American/European hybrids producing wines mainly for local consumption.

Napa Valley

Napa Valley

Situated immediately north of San Pablo Bay, Napa Valley runs extends for approximately 35 miles (60km) between the Vacas and Mayacamas mountain ranges (to the east and west respectively). The scenic 40-minute drive between the Napa and Calistoga townships passes through some of the most valuable viticultural real estate on Earth.

Napa Valley is one of the most famous and prestigious wine region of the world. Although a number of grape varieties are grown in the valley's vineyards, the area is particularly known for its Cabernet Sauvignon. The classic "Napa Cab", the archetypal Napa Valley wine, is a rich, oak-aged red with aromas of blackcurrant, boysenberry, licorice, vanilla and smoky, bittersweet chocolate.

The range of grape varieties grown in the Napa Valley has evolved steadily over the 150 years since Yount planted his first vines. Cabernet Sauvignon has risen confidently to become Napa's star performer, and is the most widely planted grape in almost all of the valley's sub-regions. The notable exception to this rule is Carneros, whose cool, breezy mesoclimate is better suited to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Merlot is also prominent, although since its fall from favor in the 1990s it is now used mostly as a blending component.

Climate, geology and topography are three essential components in what makes Napa Valley such a first-rate viticultural area. The combined influences of San Pablo Bay and the hills of the North Coast Ranges are responsible for the valley's very particular mesoclimate. The bay generates morning fog, and the hills channel it inland, up into the valley. Without this fog that comes rolling in from the bays, the valley's climate would be substantially warmer than it is, making it difficult to achieve structure and balance in the wines. The fog doesn't reach the higher parts of the valley, however, leaving these to rely on the cooling effects of altitude to keep their vines in balance.