2017 Heintz Vineyard Chardonnay

Russian River Valley Heintz Vineyard
RELEASE PRICE $65 Past Release

Winemakers Notes

Planted in Goldridge soil high above the Green Valley AVA, the Heintz always has a unique soil-inflected aromatic. In the glass, crushed rocks and minerals are immediately apparent […]

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Technical Notes

TA 0.63g/100mL
pH 3.26
Alc. 14.5%
Barrel Description 30% New, 12% 1 yr., 18% 2 yr., 40% 3 yr.
Barrel Aged 13 months
Technical Notes PDF

Winemakers Notes

Planted in Goldridge soil high above the Green Valley AVA, the Heintz always has a unique soil-inflected aromatic. In the glass, crushed rocks and minerals are immediately apparent followed by hints of apple, pear, and an essence of tangerine. Flavors of apple, pear, and minerality flood the palate. This wine is impeccably balanced and is a wonderful expression of Chardonnay from a truly special site.

Harvest Notes

It was an auspicious start to the 2017 growing season with steady rain followed by dry spells which allowed for the soil profile to fill up progressively. The waterworks kicked into high gear in January at which point over 20 inches of rain had accumulated. That’s nearly double the historical average. 2017 was epic in many respects and at one point the Russian River waters touched Westside Road and the winery was waterfront property! As the waters receded and the soil dried up, temperatures moderated, and bud break ensued by mid-March. Steady rain through the vegetative cycle was balanced with days of brilliant sunshine which helped to grow green, healthy plants. The weather was very fine in May for the flowering period and ideal for the fruit set. As the season progressed there were periods of heat that occurred with some regularity. With plenty of water in the soil profile, the plants did not stress too much and physiological maturity continued at an accelerated pace. Due to the diversity in our vineyard sources, there is normally a natural spread in the pick dates. However, in 2017 there was compression of the harvest and many of the vineyards were ready in a short period of time. The process was nearly complete by the time the intense Labor Day heat wave hit and, thankfully, had concluded before the devastating wildfires in October. Through a Herculean effort in the vineyards and at the winery we were able to pick the grapes at the optimal time and preserve the freshness and acidity of the vintage. The consequent wines show a refinement to the tannin structure which will allow for early consumption but will age gracefully with mid-term cellaring. Through and through, the 2017 is an excellent vintage.

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Reviews & Scores

94 Points

Wine Advocate

The 2017 Chardonnay Heintz Vineyard opens with green melon, lime peel, citrus blossom, poached pear and white peach with hazelnut nuance. Medium to full-bodied, it offers nutty fruits, tangy acidity and honey accents on the finish. 332 cases were made. Anticipated maturity: 2019 - 2027.

93 Points

Wine and Spirits

Charles Heintz farms two acres of chardonnay at his family's ranch in Occidental, planted to Clone 4 in 1980. The old vines make the most of the coastal fog and Goldridge sandy loam soils, producing a concentrated wine that tastes like a food, nourishing in its vinous power. Its luscious and substantial, a chardonnay that tastes like something you might describe as sweet pineapple roasted over a fire, or a fire roasted apple pie, but better to taste it yourself and get closer to the complex richness and coastal freshness. Decant it first if you open this now; it will only gain complexity with four or five years in bottle. - J.G.

94 Points

Wine Enthusiast

This is a juicy full-bodied white that is well balanced by crisp apple and orange flavors. Integrated tones of nutmeg and ginger offer support, while a lasting note of wet stone underlines a mineral component. —V.B.

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