2004 HdV Chardonnay
Visual: Crystal clear yellow-gold
Nose: Bright notes of fresh ripe apples with a hint of light caramel, guava, tropical fruits, rocks and minerals, as well as a “honeysuckle” floral aspect.
Mouth: Initially there is a touch of sweet fruit candy, then lots of great acidity and minerals. The flavors were complex and layered, and extremely well balanced. The wine was very clean, not gooey, at all, and boat loads of structure (which is an indication that the wine may age very well). It had a soaring finish, and a judicious use of oak.
Overall impression: This clearly was the Wine of the Night, with complex and deep flavors, pure fruit, and just enough oak that it never really became apparent in and of itself, but rather showed up in the other flavors of fruit, making them more rich, and adding to the complexity. But the wine itself has to be top notch as well to pull this marriage off. A classy wine all the way, and one of the best California Chardonnay’s I’ve had in a while.
Stats: 11 months in 25% new French oak; not filtered/fined; 1712 cases; $55; My score: 93