Chalk Hill and chardonnay go so iconically hand in hand that many drinkers probably don’t realize the Sonoma-based operation makes other types of wine. And yes, it does, but… er, here’s a review of two current release chardonnays all the same.
2017 Chalk Hill Chardonnay Sonoma Coast – A straightforward but sweeter version of chardonnay, with lots of honey, apple, and lemon tea notes on the nose. Barrel-driven notes of coconut and vanilla are heavier on the creamy palate, though the wine doesn’t go very much further from there, ending on a slightly green conclusion that’s more coconut husk than milk. Solid price for a wine that works well as a by-the-glass offering. B+ / $15
2016 Chalk Hill Estate Chardonnay Chalk Hill AVA – This is the upscale expression of Chalk Hill, made from estate fruit grown in the eponymous Chalk Hill AVA. Surprisingly tight, this bold and buttery chardonnay offers a healthy slug of vanilla and coconut, much like its little brother, before abruptly pulling back, revealing a layer of green vegetables and wet earth underneath. Chewy and a bit tough — though there’s a depth here that may reveal itself with a few more years in bottle. B / $39