2012 Joseph Swan "Hawk Hill Vineyard" Russian River Valley Chardonnay

SKU #1245951 94 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Editors' Choice* Crisp lemon and a light touch of oak provide a framework around memorably spicy bits of lemongrass and ginger. Along with a tightness of minerality, there’s a complexity and succulence to this wine, which lingers elegantly in all of its elements on the finish.  (4/2016)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Pale gold. Mineral-accented citrus and orchard fruit aromas show excellent clarity, with a buttery nuance adding another dimension. Supple and open-knit, offering intense tangerine and pear flavors that become spicier with air. Finishes broad and smooth, with building florality and sweetness. Rod Berglund is another grower/winemaker who told me that as seductive as the 2012s can be, the 2011s probably intrigue him more because "there's a freshness, a balance and a restraint to them that's just so classically pinot."With that in mind he thinks that the best 2011s will outrun their younger siblings, even if they're not exactly showing much of their potential just yet.He said that he doesn't want to sound like a downer by calling the 2012s "obvious" but compared to '11 and '10 "they're so much more approachable and easy to love."They'll likely be that way throughout their evolution, he believes, thus enjoyable at every stage of their lives, "which isn't true for '11 and 10."  (5/2014)

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By: Dave Genevro | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/23/2016 | Send Email
With a great weight to richness ratio, this bottling of the Hawk Hill Vineyard from the "Rod Father" of Joseph Swan Vineyards is just smokin. Brioche, lemons and toasted oak on the nose which passes off the baton to the palate of brioche, lemon curd/pie, and citrus rind. This wine is all about the balance, textures and single vineyard expression, and I love it!

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Chardonnay

- 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.
Country:

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.
Sub-Region:

California

- 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 Gewürztraminer and Riesling can also be successful, and sparkling wine production has a long history in the area.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.8