2012 Hartford Court "Three Jacks Vineyard" Green Valley Chardonnay

SKU #1190458 91-93 points Vinous

 Butter, pastry, almonds, pears and apricots inform Hartford's 2012 Chardonnay Three Jacks Vineyard. The Three Jacks is silky, layered and impeccable from start to finish. (AG)  (2/2014)

92 points Wine Spectator

 Splits the difference between pure and well-oaked fruit, with a structured beam of vibrant green apple and pear flavors. The result is a deftly balanced, deeply nuanced, rich and layered wine of notable vibrance and edginess. (JL)  (7/2015)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright gold. Exotic perfume of nectarine, poached pear and orange, with a buttery undertone. Juicy, broad and concentrated, offering ripe pit and orchard fruit flavors with a sweetening touch of vanilla. Broader and lusher than the Stone Cote bottling but not lacking for energy. Finishes smooth and long, with building smokiness and minerality. "A grower's dream" is how Don Hartford described the 2012 vintage, "but a winery's nightmare if they weren't ready for the huge crop. If one didn't keep track of how much fruit they were going to get then they didn't have the manpower to process it or enough tanks to hold it," which meant that there was a hugely active market for the selling of excess, high-quality grapes "but not enough wineries equipped to take it." As for his own winery's take on the vintage, he described it as "a great crop, great fruit, beautiful wines," which is a familiar refrain by now. Hartford especially likes the balance of fruit to tannins because it makes the wines "drinkable now for those who want that. But they aren't fragile, so they should age nicely too." (ST)  (5/2014)

K&L Notes

Robert Parker called Hartford "one of the most impressively run wineries in the Russian River AVA... These are Burgundian-styled Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs, and their Zinfandels are All-American, full-throttle, pedal-to-the metal efforts that are consistently at the top of their class." (12/2013)

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Price: $43.99
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- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Alexander Valley/Russian River

- Among Sonoma County's northernmost appellations, the Alexander Valley AVA acts as a gateway to neighboring Napa to the east and Mendocino to the north. It is a sprawling appellation, with pockets of distinct microclimates and soils, and as such, is home to a variety of wine grapes and styles. Nearly everything grows in the Alexander Valley, though Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are the most widely planted grapes. The Russian River Valley lies to the south of Alexander Valley, and is marked by much cooler temperatures and frequently heavy fog. The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grown here are some of the state's finest and most sought-after. Aromatic whites like Gew├╝rztraminer and Riesling can also be successful, and sparkling wine production has a long history in the area.