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William Hill Napa Valley Chardonnay 1997

Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
  • WS87
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Winemaker Notes

Our Chardonnay is distinguished by its smooth, creamy texture derived from barrel fermentation and lees contact, with hints of toasty oak and spice complementing its very ripe, forward fruit flavors.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 87
Wine Spectator

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William Hill

William Hill Winery

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William Hill Winery, , California
William Hill
Since 1978, William Hill Winery has produced wines from the cool southern regions of Napa Valley, including the Silverado Bench and the Carneros districts. The winery specializes in Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, producing Reserve and Napa Valley bottlings. Chardonnay grown in the cool climate and well-drained soils of Carneros typically offer brighter, more intense flavors and higher acidity than grapes grown in the richer soils and warmer temperatures at the upper end of the Napa Valley. The result are Chardonnays that are highly complex and multi-layered with crisp, bright flavors.

Cotes du Rhone

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Rhône Blends

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of spice, Rhône red blends originated in France’s Southern Rhône valley and have become popular in Priorat, Washington, South Australia, and California’s Central Coast. In the Rhône itself, 19 grape varieties are permitted for use, but many of these blends, are based on Grenache and supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre, earning the nickname “GSM blends.” Côtes du Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape are perhaps the best-known outposts for these wines. Other varieties that may be found in Rhône blends include Carignan, Cinsault, and Counoise.

In the Glass

The taste profile of a Rhône blend will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache, which often forms the base of these blends, is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit, a plush texture, and often high levels of alcohol. Syrah supplies darker fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy, and meaty notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume as well as body, tannin, and a healthy dose of color. New World examples will lie further along the fruit-forward end of the spectrum, while those from the Old World taste and smell much earthier, often with a “barnyard” character that is attractive to many fans of these wines.

Perfect Pairings

Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. Depending on the weight and alcohol level, these can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes—they play equally well with beef, pork, duck, lamb, or game. With their high acidity, these wines are best-matched with salty or fatty foods, and can handle the acidity of tomato sauce in pizza or pasta. Braised beef cheeks, grilled lamb sausages, or roasted squab are all fine pairings.

Sommelier Secret

Some regions like to put their own local spin on the Rhône red blend—for example, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, Shiraz is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure, tannin, and a long finish. Grenache-based blends from Priorat often include Carignan (known locally as Cariñena) and Syrah, but also international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, anything goes, and it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or even Tempranillo make an appearance.

CGM95216_1997 Item# 206

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