Chardonnay, Hyde Vineyard, Carneros, Napa Valley – 2017
Subterranean: Ancient terraces and alluvial fans
- Vineyards: Hyde Vineyard, at the eastern edge of Los Carneros District
- Vineyard Owner: Mr. and Mrs. Aubert de Villaine, Mr. and Mrs. Laurence W. Hyde, Mr. and Mrs. Richard E. Hyde III
- Appellation: Los Carneros, Napa Valley
- Size: 8.64 acres
- Vine Age: 26 to 38 years
- Clones: “Old Wente” and Calera
- Soil: Haire Loam Clay
- Exposure: South by southeast
The 2017 vintage will always be remembered. The winter months were wet and cold, allowing the vines to rest after their productive 2016 campaign. Bud break occurred in March, with a mix of warm and cool days, frigid nights and several rain episodes during the early stages of flowering. These conditions resulted in a low, uneven set.
A warm dry pattern followed through the end of August, until two major heat waves hit in early September, dramatically affecting ripening conditions. As a result of the intense heat, the vines shut down and the brix and acidity levels in the grapes flatlined for the next three weeks. In late September, the vines came back to life and gave us one last push, resulting in wines with harmonious balance and freshness.
Harvest started the third week of August and was concluded by the first week of October, right before traumatic wildfires scorched through Napa and Sonoma counties, giving a catastrophic end to an already challenging vintage.
- Harvest Date(s): August 26 – September 6
- Malolactic: Yes
- Barrel Aging: 11 months in French oak; 80% barrels (20% new) and 20% foudre
- Bottled: November 13, 2018; unfined and unfiltered
- Production (in cases): 1,561 cases (12/750ml)
- Alcohol: 13.8%
Seductive aromas of spiced Bosc pear, lemon zest and honeycomb are accented by chamomile blossoms and a hint of fresh pie crust. A perfectly balanced combination of yuzu and white peach lead into the delicate essence of vanilla and clove. Precise acidity and flinty minerality are juxtaposed by the unctuous texture, adding unparalleled length to the finish. The wine is elegantly refined yet shows stern focus; a promise of aging over the next decade. — Guillame Boudet, Winemaker
Hyde de Villaine Chardonnay, Hyde Vineyard, Carneros, Napa Valley — 2017 – The Wine Advocate – 94 Points
The 2017 Chardonnay opens with pure notes of poached pears, white peach, quince and apple pie plus notions of citrus blossoms, smoke, toast and honeyed hints in the undercurrent—what a superb perfume! The palate is still youthfully wound, offering energetic citrus and mineral-laced fruits, tangy, vibrant and bright and finishing very long and nuanced.
Hyde de Villaine Chardonnay, Hyde Vineyard, Carneros, Napa Valley – 2017 – Wine Spectator – 94 Points
Powerfully structured, with ripe citrus accents to the fresh white fruit and spice flavors, supported by ample acidity. Hints of tropical fruit emerge midpalate, leading to a finish that shows savory richness. Best from 2022 through 2027. 1,561 cases made.
Hyde de Villaine Chardonnay, Hyde Vineyard, Carneros, Napa Valley – 2017 – James Suckling – 96 Points
Wonderful, juicy white with cooked pineapple, praline and biscuit. Some apricots. Full-bodied, tangy and edgy with lots of energetic fruit. Focused and lively. Minerality is the word. Drink or hold.
Hyde de Villaine Chardonnay, Hyde Vineyard, Carneros, Napa Valley – 2017 – Vinous – 94 Points
The 2017 Chardonnay Hyde Vineyard is a blend of Calera and Wente clones, which, along with the decision to pick early, yields a Chardonnay with distinctly salty, saline notes that give the wine energy, tension and persistence. Orchard fruit, white flowers, mint and white pepper add striking aromatic top notes. The 2017 is quiet understated, but it is also just sublime. The 2017 spent 12 months in oak (15% new) and about four months in tank prior to bottling. It is pure class.