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Novelty Hill Stillwater Creek Chardonnay 2006

Chardonnay from Columbia Valley, Washington
  • WE92
  • RP90
0% ABV
  • WE91
  • W&S89
  • RP90
  • WE93
  • WS91
  • RP90
  • RP91
  • WE93
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3.0 4 Ratings
0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Novelty Hill's estate vineyard, Stillwater Creek, on the Royal Slope of the Frenchman Hills in Washington State's Columbia Valley is notably for its unique soils. Fractured basalt found throughout the vineyard seems to impart an appealing mineral character to Chardonnay planted here. Innovative clonal selection distinguishes the vineyard as well, including Entav clone 95, new to the Columbia Valley.

Lush and creamy, this mouth-filling wine hints of freshly baked apple pie wrapped around a core of ripe pear, crisp apple and a hint of citrus. Richly-textured and supple on the palate, with a generous, concentrated finish. Mike Januik, Winemaker

Critical Acclaim

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WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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Novelty Hill

Novelty Hill

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Novelty Hill, Columbia Valley, Washington
2006 Stillwater Creek Chardonnay
Novelty Hill is a small, independent winery crafting limited quantities of elegant wines from Washington State's finest vineyards. Committed to delivering consistent, high quality wines through careful nurturing from vine to bottle, they are dedicated to using innovative clonal selection, sound viticultural practices and gentle, artisan winemaking to produce wines of uncompromising character.

Columbia Valley

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A large and geographically diverse AVA responsible for a wide variety of wine styles, the Columbia Valley AVA is home to 99% of Washington State’s total vineyard area. A small section of the AVA extends into northern Oregon as well. Because of its vast size, it is necessarily divided into several distinctive sub-AVAs, including Walla Walla Valley and Yakima Valley—which is further split into three more even smaller AVAs. A region this size will of course have varied microclimates, but on the whole it experiences cold winters and long, dry growing seasons. Frost is a common risk during winter and spring. The towering Cascade mountain range creates a rain shadow, keeping the valley relatively rain-free throughout the year, necessitating irrigation from the Columbia River. The lack of humidity combined with sandy soils allows for vines to be grown on their own rootstock, as phylloxera is not a serious concern.

Red wines make up the majority of production in the Columbia Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon is the dominant variety here, where it produces wines with a pleasant balance of dark fruit and herbs. Wines made from Merlot are typically supple, with sweet red fruit and sometimes a hint of chocolate or mint. Syrah tends to be savory and Old-World-leaning, with a wide range of possible fruit flavors and plenty of spice. The most planted white varieties are Chardonnay and Riesling, the styles of which depend on the warmth of the site. Citrus and green apple are common to both in cooler sites, while warmer vineyards will produce riper, fleshier stone fruit flavors.

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’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based 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. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.

DASNH20111206_2006 Item# 94614

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