93 Points - JamesSuckling.com
"Lots of sliced apple, flan and pear character. Hints of meringue. Full body, lots of fruit and intensity. Hints of cream and lightly toasted oak giving a vanilla undertone. Excellent Napa chardonnay in a rich style. Drink or hold." -James Suckling, March 2017
92 Points - Wine Advocate
"The 2015 Chardonnay Reserve is a bombastic extrovert of a Chardonnay with pronounced apricot preserves, mango chutney and musk melon notes over nuances of ginger, allspice, lemon curd and toasty oak. Medium to full-bodied, the palate bursts with exotic fruit flavors, with just enough oak spiciness and a seamless acid backbone, finishing long and toasty." - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, October 2017
Power and grace, purity and poise, an elegant expression of Chardonnay worthy of the reserve title. Aromas of ripe apple and toasted brioche join crème brûlée and custard, followed by intense citrus notes led by lime and lemon zest and ripe pear. Dense and creamy, viscous with a touch of minerality and oak spice alongside subtle vanilla and caramel. Classic and instantly recognizable as one of Napa’s elite.
Fruit is sourced primarily from the Star Vineyard in Rutherford, where deep alluvial soils and consistently moderate warm daytime temperatures allow for the development of layers of concentrated, complex flavors led by lemon curd. Vineyards in the Oak Knoll district and a touch from the coolest reaches of Los Carneros provide a solid acid backbone and striking varietal tones.
After three years of plentiful harvests, the 2015 vintage brought low, but outstanding yields. A mild spring and summer with almost no rain allowed the fruit to ripen at a very steady and deliberate pace. There were no issues with frost, heat spikes or late season rain, and picking began a few days earlier than 2014. The drier-than-normal conditions, ongoing drought and abundant sunshine contributed to the smaller berry size and low yields, resulting in wines with excellent concentration, color and flavor.
Lots are picked and tracked separately from the vineyard through the winery. Fermented in barrel with 100% malolactic fermentation before aging for 17 months in French Oak, 60% new, with twice weekly hand stirring resulting in a rich, creamy texture.