Hyde De Villaine Napa Valley Chardonnay 2015
1 or more bottles$170.01
James Suckling96 points
The 2015 Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay from HDV is everything a balanced Carneros Chardonnay should be: expressive of terroir, fruit and climate. Crafted from old vine California clones, this wine is light and energetic on the palate, yet highly concentrated and mineral driven, with light citrus and white floral aromatics. The wine has a subtly round textural element that suggests the slightest hint of butter, but remains restrained and focused on a sense of place, which is one of the coolest, windiest vineyards in Carneros.
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Critic Scores & reviews
"Very dense yet tangy and energetic with beautiful intensity of flavor and brightness, which shows creme caramel. Full-bodied and vivid. Long and layered. Richness with brightness and focus. Drink now, but it's also one for aging as well."
"The 2015 Chardonnay Hyde Vineyard is bright, pure and focused, especially within the context of the year. Winemaker Stephane Vivier did a terrific job in capturing a compelling interplay of freshness and textural richness. Lemon peel, white flowers, white orchard fruit and mint give the wine its lifted personality, but there is plenty of palate weight and depth. This is a classy, super-polished Chardonnay from Hyde de Villaine."
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The United States is now the fourth-largest producer of wine worldwide, with an abundance of grapevines planted in many wine regions, though Californian accounts for almost 90% of the country's output. In the late 1800s, the root louse phylloxera decimated many of the vineyards in Europe. It originated in the soils of North America where the vines are naturally resistant and was transferred to Europe on vine cuttings. In this case, North America was both the cause of the problem, and the solution, in the form of resistant rootstock for grafting.
It wasn’t until 1973 when Stag’s Leap Cabernet Sauvignon and a Chardonnay from Château Montelana were judged to be the best in the world at the famous Paris Wine Show that the quality of the Californian wine industry was truly confirmed in the eyes of Europe.
Most all varieties are planted these days in the United States, from Syrah to Tempranillo, Pinot Noir to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Viognier and every blend in between. Key varieties are Californian Cabernet, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel and Chardonnay. Cooler climates such as Oregon and Washington produce brilliant Pinot Noir. Even states previously considered too hot and arid for wine, like Arizona are being planted, with great results.
California is home not only to most of the wine production in the United States, but also to some of the country’s most renowned wines. Thanks to a climate that features warmth, sunshine, cooling influences from ocean breezes and fog, and varying altitudes, California producers can make a wide range of wine styles. Among California’s black grape varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon (the state’s most widely planted black variety), Zinfandel, Merlot, Pinot Noir, and Syrah. For white wines, the most prominent are Chardonnay (the most planted grape variety of either colour) and Sauvignon Blanc. Regionally speaking, California’s main vineyards fall under five regions, three of which contain most of the county appellations and American Viticultural Areas (AVAs): North Coast, Central Coast, and Central Valley (which produces most of the state’s wine). North Coast encompasses the counties of Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino. Central Coast includes the Santa Cruz Mountains and Monterey AVAs as well as San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, including the Paso Robles AVA and Santa Maria Valley AVA. Central Valley is home to the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys as well as the Lodi AVA.
Not to be confused with the city of Napa or Napa Valley, California’s Napa County actually encompasses the Napa Valley American Viticultural Area (AVA), the narrow strip of land stretching up the centre of the county that’s known as one of the state’s most renowned wine-producing areas. This was the first AVA designated in California, and it has built a global reputation for Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay single-varietal wines, among other varieties. Keep in mind that wines labelled ‘Napa County’ may be from Napa Valley, or they may be from a section of the county not covered by the Napa Valley AVA. Napa County is also home to wine-producing areas Yountville, St Helena, Calistoga, and others.
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