2012 Patz & Hall Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2012 Chardonnay Sonoma Coast is a big-time winner. There are nearly 9,000 cases of this wine, which was bottled at the end of July. Beautiful notes of ripe pineapple, orange marmalade, honeysuckle and white currants jump from the glass of this wine, which was made from a combination of clones such as the old Wente as well as the newer Burgundy Dijon clones. This wine has full body, great acidity, and is a fresh, gorgeous Chardonnay to drink over the next 3-4 years. Patz and Hall has a long and enviable track record, making Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from some of the very finest single vineyards in Northern California. They rarely miss a beat, and the wines are 'sure bets' regardless of vintage conditions. The current group of 2011s and early-released 2012s once again prove the consistency of these wines, which cut a very attractive synthesis in style between the more austere Burgundian model and the riper, more fruit-laden California style. As one can see, these are consistently well-made wines from Patz and Hall that merit significant attention from all serious wine consumers. The Pinot Noirs from Patz and Hall tend to be cold-soaked prior to fermentation for 3-4 days, and depending on the vintage, the grapes are usually uncrushed whole clusters with normally around 10-20% stems utilized.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(the AVA chardonnay and pinot were bottled in July of 2013, the rest at the end of August or in December): Pale, bright yellow. Inviting aromas of lemon, tropical fruits and fresh herbs, plus an exotic suggest of botrytis. At once silky and sappy, showing a slight acid edge to the flavors of yellow fruits, floral honey, clove and salty minerals. This calmed down with aeration to show appealing texture and very good balance. An excellent opening shot to this line-up of chardonnays.
Founded by four wine-bedazzled friends in the 1980s, Patz & Hall has grown into its role as one of the North Coast's most dependable, quality Chardonnay and Pinot outfits. Part of their secret? Lots of Sonoma County fruit, actually, and hard-won, longstanding good relations with some of the best growers in the region. The excellent 2012 vintage marks Patz & Halls 25th harvest.