Hess Collection The Lioness Estate Chardonnay 2015 Front Label
Hess Collection The Lioness Estate Chardonnay 2015 Front LabelHess Collection The Lioness Estate Chardonnay 2015 Front Bottle Shot

Hess Collection The Lioness Estate Chardonnay 2015

  • RP93
  • WE91
750ML / 14.8% ABV
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  • RP94
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750ML / 14.8% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The Lioness pays homage to the women of the Hess Family who now lead the pride. This Chardonnay blends the abundance and power of Napa Valley with an agile touch of winemaking to showcase the estate fruit.

Crème brûlée and tropical notes are layered with well-integrated toasty oak and hints of vanilla that persist throughout a long satisfying finish.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
This is the inaugural vintage of this new flagship Chardonnay for The Hess Collection. The 2015 Chardonnay The Lioness Estate is 100% barrel-fermented in French oak, employing 50% new oak. It opens with intense grapefruit, white peach and pineapple notes with suggestions of nutmeg, honeyed toast and orange blossoms plus a hint of beeswax. Full-bodied, rich, satiny-textured and delivering tons of tropical and stone fruit flavors, it has lovely freshness to balance and great length.
WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
This estate-grown wine is exuberantly lemony and floral on the nose while the palate boasts lush, concentrated flavors of honey, oak, vanilla and baked pear. Full bodied, it wears its oak well, allowing it to speak in tandem with the ripe fruit.
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Hess

The Hess Collection

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The Hess Collection, California
The Hess Collection Hess Collection Winery & Garden Winery Image
The Hess Collection was founded by Swiss entrepreneur Donald Hess, who first purchased vineyards on Mount Veeder in 1978 and began making wine under The Hess Collection label in 1983. In 1986, he began renovation of the historic winery, originally constructed in 1903 by Colonel Theodore Gier. The winery opened to the public in 1989. The Hess Collection has vineyards on Mount Veeder, along with their Napa Valley estate vineyards - Su'skol and Allomi in Napa Valley, and Shirtail Creek Vineyard in Monterey. Each of these vineyards is sustainably farmed in accordance with Donald's philosophy: "Nurture the land, return what you take."
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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production as well as tourism, the Napa Valley was responsible for bringing worldwide recognition to California winemaking. In the 1960s, a few key wine families settled the area and hedged their bets on the valley's world-class winemaking potential—and they were right.

The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980s, when producers scooped up vineyard lands and planted vines throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, and today Napa is home to hundreds of producers ranging from boutique to corporate. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Napa whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that claim specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil. Farthest south and coolest from the influence of the San Pablo Bay is Carneros, followed by Coombsville to its northeast and then Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford. Above those are the warm St. Helena and the valley's newest and hottest AVA, Calistoga. These areas follow the valley floor and are known generally for creating rich, dense, complex and smooth reds with good aging potential. The mountain sub appellations, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs, include Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley (farther east), Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District and Diamond Mountain District. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from a lot of time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

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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 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.

YAO343353_2015 Item# 343353

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