From what may be the most difficult vintage Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer have confronted in their careers, the 1998 is a monumental effort that has reached full maturity, but is in no danger of falling apart. It reminds me of a top Michel Niellon Chevalier-Montrachet from the 1980s and early 1990s. With hints of citrus butter, crushed seashells, honeysuckle, guava, pear and smoke intermixed with lots of glycerin, this is one of their more powerful, alcoholic Chardonnays (14.9% alcohol). Wet gravel/earthy/volcanic notes are also detectable in this full-bodied, gorgeously youthful, light gold/green-colored 1998.
Fairly bright color. Youthfully disjointed nose combines lime, oatmeal, roasted nuts and a petrolly suggestion of wet stone. Then rich and full in the mouth; the most tactile and concentrated of these '98 chardonnays, but showing more nuts and stones than primary fruit today. I don't currently find the characteristic clarity of flavor of chardonnay from this site, but the wine has noteworthy complexity and a strong spine for aging. 93(+?) points.
Remarkably complex and intense, with wonderful mature earth and fruit flavors, and tiers of fig, vanilla, anise, smoke and butterscotch. Finishes with a long, rich, intense aftertaste.
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