Groth Hillview Vineyard Chardonnay 2017
The 2017 Chardonnay shows a brilliant pale golden straw color. The aromas open with ripe pear, white peach, and citrus notes of orange blossom and Meyer lemon, complemented by subtle toasty oak undertones. The palate entry is smooth with citrus and mineral elements. The mouthfeel builds cleanly with a very nice acid balance crisp and bright but still juicy and lush. In addition to the citrus notes, there is a tropical fruit layer of lychee, pineapple, and starfruit. The hint of new oak brings a sweetness that lifts the fruit and provides a bit of structure that supports the mouthfeel.
Groth Vineyards & Winery is a family-owned company with deep roots in the Oakville AVA,
home to Napa Valley’s largest concentration of top Cabernet Sauvignon producers.
Dennis and Judy Groth made a life-changing investment in 1981 when they bought a vineyard on Oakville Cross Road, in the heart of Napa Valley, with hopes it would produce wines as special as their favorites from the region. It didn’t take long for their intuition to be proven right. Robert Parker of the Wine Advocate gave the Groth 1985 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon the distinction of being California’s first 100-point wine.
Today, with Dennis and Judy’s daughter, Suzanne Groth, as President & CEO, Groth sustainably farms 165 acres of estate vineyards with the dual goals of producing the highest-quality, most elegant wines we can while caring for our estate for future generations. The winery produces critically acclaimed Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. The 2016 Reserve Cabernet was ranked No. 4 on Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines of 2019 list.
As one of Napa’s coolest sub-appellations, the area begs for diversity among its vineyards. Merlot and Chardonnay firmly compete with Cabernet Sauvignon for a place here. Some of Napa’s best Zinfandels also come from the Oak Knoll District.
Situated far in Napa’s southern end, Oak Knoll receives a strong cooling influence from both the San Pablo Bay and the Pacific Coast’s evening fog and breezes. Summer days are warm but on average ten degrees cooler than in St. Helena farther north up the valley; summer nights are chilly. A long growing season promotes for leisurely ripening of grape berries, resulting in an impressive balance of sugars, phenols and acidity.
Notable producers include Trefethen, one of the appellation’s oldest wineries, Robert Biale, legendary Zinfandel producer and Lewis Cellars, a family-run, hands-on establishment.
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.