A reasonable amount of wine has been consumed this weekend, and I'm going to report on all of it below, but I wanted to start with what I am drinking right now......
Shite.... it's a beauty.
Hartford Court 2012 Seascape Vineyard Chardonnay ($65 USD at winery; not available here as far as I know).
First of all, let's learn a little bit about the vineyard, from the website.
Seascape Vineyard is a six-acre site on a scenic ridge-top west of the town of Occidental in the Sonoma Coast AVA. The vineyard abuts an old redwood grove and faces cascading ridges to Bodega Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The well-known Coastlands Vineyard also borders the property. Because there is no ridge between the ocean and the vineyard, Seascape is in extremely cold spot – so cold that Chardonnay is often picked in November. The vineyard is cropped to about two tons per acre to ensure thorough ripening. Although a challenging spot to farm, the reward at Seascape is Chardonnay grapes brimming with personality and a very distinctive terroir.
16 months in 100% French Oak (30% new).
When we stuck our noses into our glasses, we both thought we were in for something special. Tracey and I looked at each other and grinned; but of course, we've all experienced wine that smelled like Heaven and tasted like, well, the other place.
The complexity on the nose is intoxicating. Hints of meyer lemon, hazelnut, honey, tropical fruit, butterscotch and floral aromas. The flavors are just as amazing. A touch of toasty oak, mandarin orange, pineapple, and just the slightest hint of butter. Those among you who just can't handle the big, bold, buttery Chardonnays but also aren't a fan of the over-fruity expressions from France should jump on this. To me, this is the perfect marriage of fruit and oak. The best Chardonnay I have ever tasted, and, in fact, the best white wine I have ever tasted. 97.
Some other good stuff this weekend, including a couple from one of our favorite BC wineries:
Quails' Gate 2013 The Bench Pinot Gris 25th Anniversary Series ($24.99)
The first single-varietal Pinot Gris available from Quails' Gate. Notes of pear on the slightly muted nose. A hint of toast and grapefruit joins the pear on the palate. Not a bad first effort at a very reasonable price. 86.
I'm in 6 wine clubs; and all of them ( I believe) mention that one of the perks of the club is that from "time to time" they will bring a bottle out of their library for the club members. It's a great thing to advertise....but few ever do it. These guys, however, are an exception. I get one or two library wines EVERY shipment; including this one, which we just received earlier this year.
Quails' Gate 2008 Stewart Family Reserve Pinot Noir ($?)
Plums, cherries, vanilla, earth and cigar box on the nose. There is no hiding the age of this beauty. A touch of tobacco and earth on the palate along with the fruit. Peaking now, I think, and it has peaked very, very well. Just terrific. 92.
So, my recommendations to all of you is to get on your computer and find a way to get some of that Hartford Chardonnay at the top of the post (oh, and join the QG wine club so you might get some of that Pinot!!!).