2014 Hartford Court "Stone Côte" Sonoma Coast Chardonnay (Previously $62)

SKU #1338323 95-97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2014 Chardonnay Stone Côte is actually a tiny parcel within the more famous and larger Durell Vineyard. Like most of these wines, indigenous yeast fermentations are encouraged, and the wine is 100% barrel-fermented and aged completely in French oak with the percentage of new oak generally ranging from the upper 30 percentile to 50% or so. This wine is a terrific example of Chardonnay, with a greenish hue to its light straw color and a stunning nose of tropical fruit, citrus oil and orange blossom. It is full-bodied, has great acidity and delicious up-front fruit. This will be a killer Chardonnay when released next year. With proprietor Don Hartford in full control, and brilliant winemaker Jeff Stewart having access to some magnificent cool-climate sites (for Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel), Hartford Family Winery continues to be one of the great success stories in California viticulture. (RP)  (10/2015)

89-92 points Vinous

 The 2014 Chardonnay Stone Côte Vineyard is laced with pretty floral, spice, apricot pit, orange peel and lightly buttered notes, all in a mid-weight, gracious style that will drink well young early. The Stone Côte emerges from a parcel within the famed Durrell Vineyard. (AG)  (2/2016)

Wine Spectator

 Displays a pithy citrus side, with tangerine, nectarine and white peach notes giving this a refreshing vitality and layers of complexity and nuance. Drink now through 2020. (JL)  (6/2017)

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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, M√Ęcon, 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.
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.
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).