2012 Lynmar "Quail Hill Vineyard" Russian River Valley Chardonnay

SKU #1248153 92 points Wine Enthusiast

 Honeysuckle and jasmine pique interest aromatically before luscious, linear waves of vanilla, caramel and lemon custard graciously interject, buoyed by ample acidity and a lush texture. This Chardonnay offers generous richness alongside high-toned minerality, and is a delicious go-to for buttery lobster dishes.  (12/2014)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Light yellow-gold. The deepest and richest of this set of chardonnays, displaying scents of ripe pit and orchard fruits and a honeyed nuance. Ample and broad in the mouth, offering intense peach and Meyer lemon flavors that turn spicier with air. Clings very nicely on the finish, with the lemon note echoing. Winemaker Shane Finley took over from previous winemaker Bibiana Gonzalez-Rave in early 2012 so this is the first set of releases that fully bear his fingerprint, from flowering to bottling. I asked him what he thinks will differentiate his wines from past Lynmars and he responded that he's looking for a little less upfront, flamboyant character, lighter toast to the barrels and more structure in the wines "but without making them strict." He started off with a great model, he said,"so it's more a matter of tweaking things than making 180-degree moves." There's a Kanzler vineyard bottling for the first time in 2012, by the way, which is fruit that Finley knows well from his Kosta-Browne days.  (5/2014)

Wine Spectator

 Tight and flinty, with snappy green apple, pear and honeydew melon flavors and light toasty oak. Very complete, ending with a delicate aftertaste. Drink now. 1,292 cases made.  (7/2014)

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By: Daniel Maas | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/22/2016 | Send Email
It's a lovely spring day as you find yourself sitting on the expansive patio that is the centerpiece of the Lynmar winery. It's 85 degrees as, suddenly, OYSTERS appear on the table. After being thrown a curve-ball such as this, there's only one thing to do: Open a bottle of the wonderful Quail Hill Chardonnay, a supremely elegant expression of the varietal. Baked apple, a hint of toasted smoke, all wrapped up in a velvety texture that is simply delectable. An hour later, as the sun goes down, the staff of this lovely establishment explain that they're closing, and would we like anything else. Yes. I think I'll take a case of this Chardonnay, please.

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 Gew├╝rztraminer and Riesling can also be successful, and sparkling wine production has a long history in the area.