2011HilliardBruceChard2011 Hilliard Bruce, Chardonnay Sta. Rita Hills.
Made by John Hilliard, from a vineyard site just west of Clos Pepe, the 2011 Hilliard Bruce Chardonnay Sta. Rita Hills is a world class white that shows vintage, terroir and artisan winemaking throughout. This is a rich and textured Chardonnay that retains vibrancy and lift, even though it saw 100% new French oak, and the clarity and focus are stunningly pure. The nose shows white flowers, river stones, vanilla and toast notes that lead to a palate of apple, pear, peach and bright lemon fruits with hints of smoke, cream, golden fig and tropical notes. The wine feels lush and full, but still has plenty of energy and is nicely balanced, like a fine Chassagne, and the finish is lengthy and lingers with citrus and clove spice. This is a thoroughly pleasing Chardonnay and a super result given the difficulties of the vintage, drink now through 2017.
($45 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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