2011 Joseph Swan "Hawk Hill Vineyard" Russian River Valley Chardonnay (Previously $40)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Vivid yellow. Spicy, intensely fragrant aromas of lemon zest, orange, smoky minerals and jasmine. Silky and concentrated, offering vibrant citrus and orchard fruit flavors and hints of iodine and licorice. Very juicy and focused on the long, floral finish, which strongly echoes the citrussy note.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Made in the old style of California Chardonnay, the light gold-colored 2011 Chardonnay Hawk Hill Vineyard possesses a modest alcohol of 13.8%, crisp acids, lots of neutral oak, an earthiness that pervades the fruit, and a slightly austere, angular mouthfeel. It exhibits tight aromatics as well as medium-bodied flavors. This restrained, understated Chardonnay should drink well for 5-6 years.
Planted in the southwest corner of the Russian River Valley, Hawk Hill Vineyard enjoys a climate and terroir more like the "true" Sonoma Coast more than the rest of the Russian River Valley. Joseph Swan vinifies their very limited Chardonnay from this vineyard in neutral oak and the results are not unlike a fine Chablis. From the winery: "The color is a bright, pale lemon or almost straw yellow. The aromas are like fresh lemon juice being squeezed onto a rock. In the mouth the acidity takes over. Fresh citrus fruit on a barely ripe mango. I kid you not, this is what I got. It is the antithesis of a California buttered popcorn Chardonnay."