2013 Hartford Court "Stone Côte" Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

SKU #1271277 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2013 Chardonnay Stone Cote Vineyard (572 cases produced) is fashioned from a specific block of vines that Don Hartford farms in the well-known Durell Vineyard. Fermented with indigenous yeast, it exhibits lots of white peach, orange blossom, pear and honeysuckle notes in its medium to full-bodied, gorgeously pure, textured personality. With terrific acidity as well as focus, it should drink well for 10+ years. Part of the Jackson Family empire, Hartford Court is run with incredible enthusiasm and competence by Don Hartford and his winemaker, Jeff Stewart. One of the bright shining stars in California winedom, their Chardonnays are clearly Burgundian, but with sensational purity and ripeness. The Pinot Noirs are among the finest of Northern California, and Hartford Court’s Zinfandels rank alongside such top Zinfandel producers as Turley, Limerick Lane and Carlisle. I tasted six impressive 2013 Chardonnays, which are generally aged for 15 months in 100% French oak, with a range of 33% to 44% new. Bottling is done without fining or filtration. (RP)  (12/2014)

92-94 points Vinous

 The 2013 Chardonnay Stone Cote Vineyard (from Durell) is rich, sumptuous and layered, with attractive floral, honeyed overtones and plenty of orchard fruits. Hints of orange peel, lemon oil, hazelnuts, spices and butter add further dimensions of nuance on the finish. The 2013 stands out for its voluptuous, inviting personality and silky finish. It’s hard to know where to start with this superb set of new and upcoming releases from Don Hartford and Jeff Stewart. The Chardonnays and Pinots get most of the attention, but the Zinfandels, most of which emerge from 100 year-old vineyards, may very well be the most impressed wines in this range. The Chardonnays are all fermented and aged in barrel (around 33%-60% new) for 15 months and bottled with no fining or filtration. Pretty much the same is true of the Pinots, which perhaps see a touch less new oak than the Chardonnays. The Zinfandels are made in a distinctly Pinot-influenced style that emphasizes aromatics and silkiness. (AG)  (1/2015)

Wine Spectator

 Marked by a strong show of citrus, quince, lemon, lime and white peach notes that give this a mouthwatering presence. (JL, Web-2016)

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Price: $61.99
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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.


- 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.
Specific Appellation:

Sonoma County

- Second in fame only to Napa, this "other" valley offers just about every climate and topography imaginable. From its cool and fog-enshrouded coastal regions on the far west, to the sprawling Alexander Valley on the boarder of Napa and the many little dips and peaks in between, Sonoma has been a vital wine-grape-growing region since the mid 1800s. Important sub-AVAs include Chalk Hill (known for chardonnay and sauvignon blanc), Dry Creek Valley (where zin is king) Knights Valley (largely cabernet land), Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast (both celebrated pinot and chardonnay zones).