WTN: Stony Hill -A Delicious! California Chardonnay

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WTN: Stony Hill -A Delicious! California Chardonnay

Postby Brian K Miller » Mon Feb 11, 2013 1:51 pm

2011 Stony Hill Napa Valley Chardonnay.

At Redd Restaurant in Yountville with my friends Joe and Donna. Drank two glasses with our fish entree.

No Malolactic. No leese stirring. Old barrels aging.

The purity of fruit is amazing, with blazing acidity and a delicious tangy note that makes me surprised there is no on-lees aging. There is almost a Riesling character here I have never experienced in a Chardonnay!!!!! :shock: But then, at the end, there is this lovely, even amazing roundness of Chardonnay mouth feel and fruit.

I am not a big Chardonnay drinker, but Stony Hill may be a new favorite!
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Re: WTN: Stony Hill -A Delicious! California Chardonnay

Postby Gary Kahle » Mon Feb 11, 2013 2:10 pm

I buy and drink almost zero Chardonnay with the exception of Burgs but I really do like Stoney Hill. Wish I could buy it in MI.
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Re: WTN: Stony Hill -A Delicious! California Chardonnay

Postby Jenise » Mon Feb 11, 2013 4:59 pm

I'm a fan, too. About 15 years ago I was friends with someone who routinely pulled out ten+ year old bottles of SH chards, they were always great and the wines were very hard to acquire then. That seems to be less true now--wonder if they're still made with aging in mind?
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: WTN: Stony Hill -A Delicious! California Chardonnay

Postby Brian K Miller » Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:05 pm

Jenise wrote:I'm a fan, too. About 15 years ago I was friends with someone who routinely pulled out ten+ year old bottles of SH chards, they were always great and the wines were very hard to acquire then. That seems to be less true now--wonder if they're still made with aging in mind?


The website implies ageability, Jenise.
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Re: WTN: Stony Hill -A Delicious! California Chardonnay

Postby Mark Lipton » Mon Feb 11, 2013 6:32 pm

Brian,
I am a bit surprised that it took you this long to "discover" Stony Hill. Arguably, they were the first "cult" winery in CA back in the '70s. And, yes, those Chardonnays do age splendidly. We've got some of the 2007 in the cellar at the moment, and it's still not quite ready for prime time. You should visit them by bike the next time you're cycling the valley: they're about 2 mi off Hwy 29 along a road that winds up the side of Spring Mountain through Napa-Bothe State Park. It's steep and winding, but then you get to enjoy the view and try their wines! :mrgreen:

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Re: WTN: Stony Hill -A Delicious! California Chardonnay

Postby Jon Leifer » Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:53 pm

I think this is the first time I have seen a posting on such a young Stony Hill.. SH chards are classics and reward cellaring,, perhaps 6-10 years,
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Re: WTN: Stony Hill -A Delicious! California Chardonnay

Postby Lou Kessler » Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:52 pm

I agree with all the accolades given to Stony Hill. Another Ca wine I put in my cellar practically every year is Mount Eden chard from the Santa Cruz region which ages fabulously as a rule. Somewhat the same style. :D
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Yup.....

Postby TomHill » Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:03 pm

Brian K Miller wrote:2011 Stony Hill Napa Valley Chardonnay.

At Redd Restaurant in Yountville with my friends Joe and Donna. Drank two glasses with our fish entree.

No Malolactic. No leese stirring. Old barrels aging.
The purity of fruit is amazing, with blazing acidity and a delicious tangy note that makes me surprised there is no on-lees aging. There is almost a Riesling character here I have never experienced in a Chardonnay!!!!! :shock: But then, at the end, there is this lovely, even amazing roundness of Chardonnay mouth feel and fruit.
I am not a big Chardonnay drinker, but Stony Hill may be a new favorite!


Yup, Brian......pretty accurately all the young StonyHills I've tried. That "blazing acidity" is the secret to their ageibility. I've had StonyHills from the '60's-'70's
at 20-25 yrs of age and they are amazing. They are almost "essence of Chard fruit" in the character and are packed w/ flavor. The In Pursuit of Balance
folks could learn a thing or two from StonyHill.
Their WhiteRiesling is also a gem & very ageible. They also make (or, at least, used to) a Semillon du Soleil, a passito wine from a few rows of
Semillon, that is an awesome dessert wine, also very ageible.
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Re: WTN: Stony Hill -A Delicious! California Chardonnay

Postby Brian K Miller » Tue Feb 12, 2013 4:08 pm

Mark Lipton wrote:Brian,
I am a bit surprised that it took you this long to "discover" Stony Hill. Arguably, they were the first "cult" winery in CA back in the '70s. And, yes, those Chardonnays do age splendidly. We've got some of the 2007 in the cellar at the moment, and it's still not quite ready for prime time. You should visit them by bike the next time you're cycling the valley: they're about 2 mi off Hwy 29 along a road that winds up the side of Spring Mountain through Napa-Bothe State Park. It's steep and winding, but then you get to enjoy the view and try their wines! :mrgreen:

Mark Lipton


Sounds like a plan. And they are making Cabernet now, too! (in an old school)

I did try a Riesling once and did not really like it. Unlike the Chardonnay, it lacked acid. Can't remember the vintage, though.
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