Review: Chalk Hill 2019 Estate Chardonnay and 2017 Estate Red

Review: Chalk Hill 2019 Estate Chardonnay and 2017 Estate Red

Two new releases, both bottled from estate fruit, from the always reliable Chalk Hill. Let’s get to work:

2019 Chalk Hill Estate Chardonnay Chalk Hill AVA – We last saw this wine during a visit to Chalk Hill’s winery, where it showed just as beautifully as it does today. Apple and vanilla, with a big dollop of silky coconut cream on top, make an immediate showing, followed by a squeeze of lemon that adds acidity. The wine doesn’t scream complexity but it does invite jubilant consumption. I’ll never complain when this one’s on the table. A- / $45 [BUY IT NOW FROM TOTAL WINE]

2017 Chalk Hill Estate Red Chalk Hill AVA – This dense and chewy wine is composed of 54% cabernet sauvignon, 34% malbec, 10% petit verdot, and 2% carmenere. Easily mistaken for a pure cabernet, the wine is laden with notes of chocolate and coffee bean, dense currants and plums. Some time in glass helps notes of softer cherry and vanilla to percolate, the finish hinting at Nutella spread and the lightest touch of fennel and some spearmint. Tannins are already well-mellowed. There’s room here for this wine to grow. I recently tasted this again at Chalk Hill‘s delightful Harvest Celebration and it was on point. The upside here is equally significant. A- / $70 [BUY IT NOW FROM TOTAL WINE]

Update 11/2022: Some confusion over the vintage of the Estate Red in this review led me to try the 2018 as a re-review, only to later discover we probably had the vintage wrong on the original review of the wine. Notes on the 2018 Estate Red are included here as a result: Tasting the 2018 expression reveals a wine that’s a bit more mellow than the burlier 2017, letting blackberry and blueberry notes build alongside a milk chocolate character — though some some punchy tannin remains in the mix, with notes of anise, apple cider, and baking spice lingering on the finish. This is drinking fine now but feels like it has another 3 or 4 years before hitting its peak. A- / $75

2017 Chalk Hill Estate Red




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.

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