14 GOLD MEDAL WINNER!!
"Vibrant, with a raw, edgy texture that holds the flavors well, but comes across as coarse. Drink now. 90,000 cases made. –JL" (WS)
"A bit underplayed in the nose with suggestions of lemons, green apples and mild oaky spice juxtaposed with a distinct minerally component that carries into its very like-minded flavors, Rodney Strong's Chalk Hill offering is a nicely balanced, medium-full-bodied Chardonnay that gets the nod over its stiffer, slightly more expensive Sonoma Coast mate by dint of its overall integration and continuity. It is sufficiently well-structured to take a year or two of age, but there is nothing about it that dissuades drinking in the immediate term. Reviewed: May 2016" (CG)
"There's a healthy dose of oak cradling the fruit-forwardness of this wine, made entirely from estate vineyards within the Chalk Hill appellation near the winery. Anise and honeyed caramel vie for attention against a rich texture and lemony finish." (WE)
Barrel fermentation in new and seasoned French oak added toasty vanilla and spice complexities. During the twelve months of barrel aging, we regularly stirred the “lees” in barrel, which imparts an elegant fullness and creamy texture on the palate. In the glass, the wine is both creamy and crisp, with flavors of golden delicious apple, Meyer lemon, baking spices with a hint of minerality on the long finish.
Enjoy over the next 1 to 3 years with soft cheeses, fresh crab or roasted pork loin.
In 1965, our founder Rod Strong was the first to plant Chardonnay in what would later be recognized as the Chalk Hill American Viticultural Area (AVA), established officially in 1983. He recognized the region as distinct from the rest of Russian River Valley for its unique, volcanically-derived, chalky white ash soils, which impart a subtle mineral character to wines grown there.
A mild, dry winter encouraged early bud break in Sonoma County in 2014. The growing season was very warm overall, but tempered by some overcast days in late July and late August plus a heavy drizzle in early September. Our Chalk Hill Chardonnay was harvested August 20 through September 15 under ideal conditions.