Hartford Court Far Coast Chardonnay 2012 (750ML)
Critic Scores, Reviews & Descriptions
95-97 RP / 92-94 AG
The 2012 Chardonnay Far Coast Vineyard comes from a site located on a mountain ridge north of Fort Ross. Like its siblings, it was fermented with indigenous yeasts, and bottled unfined and unfiltered after spending 15 months in one-third new oak. Its alcohol is among the lowest at 14.1%. A blockbuster Chardonnay, it boasts intense aromas of mangoes, Mandarin oranges, pineapples and wet rocks along with noticeable minerality, full body, and stunning purity as well as symmetry. This is another great Chardonnay from proprietor Don Hartford and his winemaking team. Enjoy it over the next 5-7 years.
One of the most impressively run wineries in the Russian River AVA is the Hartford Family Winery, where proprietor Don Hartford is backed up by winemaker Jeff Stewart as well as all the resources of the Jackson Family Vineyards. These are Burgundian-styled Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs, and their Zinfandels are All-American, full-throttle, pedal-to-the metal efforts that are consistently at the top of their class. The Chardonnay sites tend to be cool climate, to the point that in some harvests there is a risk of not being able to bring in ripe fruit. Production levels for these beautiful Chardonnays range from a low of 268 cases for the Four Hearts to over 700 cases for the Stone Cote. The Pinot Noirs experience the same upbringing, being aged around 16 months in French oak, with the percentage of new barrels ranging from the mid-40% to just over 50%. The wines are bottled unfined and unfiltered, and even in a challenging vintage such as 2011, the alcohols can range from the high 14% to 15.2%. Production varies from a low of 200 cases to a high of 2,500 cases for the Lands Edge Vineyard Pinot. Hartford has always made incredible Zinfandels. Its a credit to the Jackson family, and Jess Jacksons son-in-law, Don Hartford, that although a number of brilliant winemakers have worked at Hartford, the consistency of these wines has been sensational. Every one of them comes from vines planted by Italian immigrants in 1905 and 1906, and most of the vineyards have a portion planted with what the Californians call mixed blacks, such as Alicante, Petite Sirah, Carignan and other red grapes. ÒRobert Parker, Wine Advocate
The 2012 Chardonnay Far Coast Vineyard is one of the most nuanced, transparent and weightless Chardonnays in this range. Lemon, slate, white flowers and crushed rocks meld together in a pointed, nuanced Chardonnay endowed with terrific energy and pure mineral drive. Bright saline notes support the finish. This is a terrific showing from Hartford. ÒAntonio Galloni, Vinous Media