Stonestreet Upper Barn Vineyard Chardonnay 2017
The 2017 Upper Barn Vineyard Chardonnay expresses Stargazer lily, yellow nectarine and orange blossom on the nose. The palate reflects those qualities together with a savory underpinning. The texture is both opulent and elegant, exhibiting the balance of fruit and a quartz-like translucency that only age, and the superb site situated at 1,800 feet can bring to a wine. This wine is extremely well-integrated with a lingering, mouthwatering and round finish.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
I was blown away by the 2017 Chardonnay Upper Barn Vineyard, one of the finest Chardonnays in this report. Coming from the oldest estate vines on the Alexander Valley site, planted in 1982, and aged 11 months in 50% new French oak, it leads with an incredible bouquet of pineapple, white flowers, crushed rocks, and spice. With medium to full body, high yet integrated acidity, a thrilling texture, and a great, great finish, this is pure class and a remarkable effort from this estate. It’s drinking brilliantly today yet I suspect has the class to evolve for over a decade.
The 2017 Chardonnay Upper Barn Vineyard is profoundly scented of warm peaches, green mango, baked apples and poached pears with hints of honeysuckle, orange blossoms and lime leaves plus a waft of crushed rocks. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has super intense stone fruit and mineral flavors with seamless freshness and a long, perfumed finish.
Minerally freshness accents the structured Gala apple and white cherry flavors, backed by a zesty core of acidity. Savory hints and lemon drop notes show on the finish.
In the autumn of 1989, Jess Jackson acquired the Zellerbach winery and renamed it in honor of his late father, Jess Stonestreet Jackson. Stonestreet quickly garnered international acclaim for their powerful reds and luscious whites.
Today, Stonestreet wines are undergoing a transformation, using fruit from Alexander Mountain Estate and new winemaking techniques. Alexander Mountain Estate, with lean, well-draining soils and cooler temperature, produces fruit with smaller berries and more intense color and flavor. Stonestreet is dedicated to fulfilling the promise of Alexander Valley's exceptional and distinctive vineyards. Traditional, Old World methods of hand harvesting, small barrel lot production, native yeast fermentation and bottling each wine unfiltered brings out the best in specific grape varieties and provides the quality framework for each Stonestreet wine.
Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa Valley, the region only produces about half the amount of wine but boasts both tremendous quality and variety. With its laid-back atmosphere and down-to-earth attitude, the wineries of Sonoma are appreciated by wine tourists for their friendliness and approachability. The entire county intends to become a 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019.
Grape varieties are carefully selected to reflect the best attributes of their sites—Dry Creek Valley’s consistent sunshine is ideal for Zinfandel, while the warm Alexander Valley is responsible for rich, voluptuous Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are important throughout the county, most notably in the cooler AVAs of Russian River, Sonoma Coast and Carneros. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah have also found a firm footing here.
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.