The 2014 Pinot Noir Muldune Trail comes from a vineyard at the southern end of the Anderson Valley planted at an elevation of 1,600 feet. Again unfined and unfiltered, this has a dense ruby/plum color that is more saturated than its two predecessors and notes of fresh herbs intermixed with wet gravel, blueberry, raspberry and pomegranate. It is medium-bodied, long, rich, and made from Dijon clones 115 and 777. This is a broad, savory, impressive Pinot Noir to drink over the next decade. Under owner Don Hartford, winemaker Jeff Stewart continues to produce a stunning succession of Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs (as well as Zinfandels) under the Hartford Court moniker from generally cool-climate sites. His is one of the bright stars in the Kendall-Jackson portfolio of small estate wineries. Production of the 2015 Chardonnays was tiny because of poor flowering, especially on the Sonoma Coast, and quantities of all of the following Chardonnays varies from a low of 165 cases for the Jennifer’s to a full 1,200 cases for the Four Hearts (the only one actually in bottle). All of these wines are barrel-fermented, aged in 100% French oak (usually around 27-43% new), and bottled unfined and unfiltered. These exquisite wines can hold their own against the likes of Marcassin, Aubert, Kongsgaard, etc. (RP)
The 2014 Pinot Noir Muldune Trail is powerful, rich and incisive, with notable depth and power. Dark cherry, plum, mocha, spice meld into the succulent, radiant finish. Drink this forward, juicy Pinot Noir over the next handful of years. The Muldune Trail emerges from a site at the southern end of Anderson Valley. This is an impressive set of wines from proprietor Don Hartford and winemaker Jeff Stewart. Hartford sources fruit from some of the top sites in Sonoma, and it comes through in the pedigree of these wines. I tasted most of the Chardonnays and Pinots from tank prior to bottling, while all of the Zinfandels were in bottle. Speaking of Zinfandel, once again, I came away from my tasting at Hartford thinking these are the best wines in the range. (AG)
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