Ric Forman's 2012 Chardonnay jumps from the glass with bright lemon, mint, crushed rocks, citrus and slate. As always, the Forman style is all about cut, focus and energy. At times, the Chardonnay is Meursault inflected, with tons of white stone fruits, pears, crushed rocks and pure energy. Readers who enjoy bright, chiseled Chardonnays will adore the 2012. The 2012 spent seven months on its lees, and the malo was blocked, in classic Forman style. Ric Forman told me he has to go back to 1972 to see a vintage like 2011. I will take his word for it, as I was barely born. Although the Cabernets are usually the highlights, the 2012 Chardonnay is superb and not to be missed. As always, Ric and Toby Forman make some of the most distinctive and fairly priced wines in Napa Valley.
(from fruit picked at 22.5 degrees Brix): Bright lemon-yellow. Knockout Chablis-like aromas of white peach, fresh apricot, lime, flowers and wild herbs. Very rich, even glyceral, for this bottling, but bone-dry too, showing outstanding creamy depth to its oily citrus, licorice and herb favors. At 13.5% alcohol, there's nothing heavy about this beauty. The very long, slowly building finish leaves the palate glistening. A rich and excellent vintage for this consistently ageworthy no-malolactic chardonnay.
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