WINE REVIEW: 2018 Chalk Hill Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, CA ($24)
by Andrew Chalk
Thank God for Bill Foley, who shows here how a monied patron can be a force for good by providing the resources for the winemakers to continue the path they took under founder Fred Furth. Furth decided to retire in 2010 and was able to achieve his wish of his winery remaining in family control thanks to Foley having the will and the wherewithal to offer an acceptable price. At the time Furth told The Wine Spectator "I'm getting a little long in tooth," he said. "My main reason in selling to Foley is I wanted a family to own it. It's always been a family winery."
Chalk Hill also produces cabernet sauvignon, sauvignon blanc, and syrah but it is its chardonnay for which it is most esteemed. Not only do they express precise wine making but they are one of the few California chardonnays that productively age.
This wine continues in the same vibrant, acidic style that pairs well with food and is a challenger to chardonnay examples costing much more.
Appearance: Bright gold with silver rim;
Nose: Lemon, peach, ripe apple, apple pie;
Taste: Medium acid. I would guess full malolactic fermentation. Flavors of cornbread, crème anglais, and crème brûlée. Rich mouthfeel. Balanced phenolics contribute to a memorable finish.