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Hartford Court Seascape Vineyard Chardonnay 2014

  • RP93
  • V93
750ML / 14.1% ABV
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  • JD98
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750ML / 14.1% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2014 Seascape Vineyard Chardonnay is from one of the coldest vineyards in all of Northern California. On a ridgetop close to the town of Occidental, facing Bodega Bay in the Pacific Ocean, it is often the last to ripen – and sometimes as late as late October or November. A deep golden color, exotic tropical fruits, crushed rocks, and an almost saltiness characterize this rather nutty and strikingly Meursault-like Chardonnay that will be somewhat controversial compared to the more classic aromas and flavors of the other five offerings, but it is still a brilliant, somewhat idiosyncratic Chardonnay in the lineup of the Hartford Court wines.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2014 Chardonnay Seascape Vineyard is from one of the coldest vineyards in all of Northern California. On a ridge top close to the town of Occidental, facing Bodega Bay in the Pacific Ocean, it is often the last to ripen – and sometimes as late as late October or November. A deep golden color, exotic tropical fruits, crushed rocks, and an almost saltiness characterize this rather nutty and strikingly Mersault-like Chardonnay that will be somewhat controversial compared to the more classic aromas and flavors of the other five offerings, but it is still a brilliant, somewhat idiosyncratic Chardonnay in the lineup of the Hartford Court wines. Drink it over the next 4-5 years.
Barrel Sample: 91-93
V 93
Vinous
The 2014 Chardonnay Seascape Vineyard presents a very different expression of Chardonnay than the Far Coast. Apricot jam, wild flowers, honey and chamomile are some of the signatures. Winemaker Jeff Stewart likes to open the canopy here to stave off disease pressure, which also gives this wine a bit more raciness in its fruit than the Far Coast.
Barrel Sample: 90-93
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Hartford Court

Hartford Court

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Hartford Court, California
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Hartford Family Winery was founded in 1993 as a result of Don and Jennifer Hartford's appreciation for the wines, the people, and the unique vineyards near their Russian River Valley home. Located in the Sonoma County town of Forestville, the winery is about 15 miles from the cool Pacific Coast.

Making delicious wines of high personality is directly related to the difficult locations of the Hartford family's vineyard sources, the limited production of their bottlings and the varietals they use. "Character through adversity" is an expression that the Hartford family believes to apply to both people and grapevines, and they feel that surviving adversity builds character, and personality, in both.

The Hartford Family makes wines under two marks, one of which is Hartford Court. Hartford Court bottlings are small lots of high-personality single vineyard Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays that express the distinctive qualities inherent in each vineyard's terroir - the interplay of soil, slope, exposure and climate. The fruit is sourced from the Russian River Valley, Green Valley and Sonoma Coast appellations.

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Sonoma Coast

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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.

The Sonoma Coast is highly regarded for elegant Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and, increasingly, cool-climate Syrah. The wines have high acidity, moderate alcohol, firm tannin, and balanced ripeness.

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Chardonnay

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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 practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.

SOU476446_2014 Item# 430758