Review: Chalk Hill 2016 Chardonnay and 2017 Sauvignon Blanc
Chalk Hill Estate Winery wears its identity on its sleeve: It’s the cornerstone winery of the Chalk Hill AVA, one of the smallest distinct winegrowing regions in northern California. From its perch in northern Sonoma, Chalk Hill produces a variety of wines, but it’s best known for its whites. Here we review a pair of new releases, both bottled in late 2018.
You’re not seeing double, these are similar wines, but reversed vintages and different vineyard sources, to those that we reviewed last year.
2016 Chalk Hill Estate Chardonnay Chalk Hill – Plenty of oak and brown butter here, with a thread of lemon peel, lime zest, and coconut running through the experience. Mildly unusual at times, but there’s nothing that would be unexpected from a bold California chardonnay, with a marzipan note lingering on the back end. B+ / $30
2017 Chalk Hill Estate Sauvignon Blanc Chalk Hill – This is a heavily tropical expression of sauvignon blanc, though the pineapple and mango notes are dimmed a bit by hints of pepper, toasted nuts, and some unfortunate green bean notes, particularly on the finish. A hint of coconut offers a brighter character as the finish fades out, however. B / $19