Carneros Hills Winery Chardenet Durell Vineyard Chardonnay 2012
Aromas of yellow peach, poached pear, lemon peel, beeswax, and lanolin intertwine on the nose. On the palate, rich white plum, g, and dried ginger flavors lead into a powerfully structured, riverstone-inflected texture that persists for minutes.
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Carneros Hills Winery is in the tenderloin of Carneros, south of the Carneros Highway. It is a new winery, established just in 2013. Despite its recent inception the winery has history and tradition behind it, having been the site of the historic Buena Vista Winery on the Sonoma side of the appellation, just over the Napa border. The winery underwent dramatic renovations in 2013-2014, including cutting-edge innovations for artisanal Pinot Noir production: hand-sorting systems, basket presses and a variety of fermentation vessels. Individual barrel rooms provide the ideal conditions for primary and secondary fermentations as well as aging.
A vast appellation covering Sonoma County’s Pacific coastline, the Sonoma Coast AVA runs all the way from the Mendocino County border, south to the San Pablo Bay. The region can actually be divided into two sections—the actual coastal vineyards, marked by marine soils, cool temperatures and saline ocean breezes—and the warmer, drier vineyards further inland, which are still heavily influenced by the Pacific but not quite with same intensity.
Contained within the appellation are the much smaller Fort Ross-Seaview and Petaluma Gap AVAs.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.