The 2014 Chardonnay The Meadows is all about richness, power and intensity, both in its sweetness through the middle and more tropically leaning flavors. Mango, pineapple, honey, butter, roasted almonds and dried flowers meld into the textured, inviting finish. It is so refreshing to taste with proprietor Stephen Hansel. At a time when so many of the world's best wines are increasingly unaffordable for the normal consumer, Hansel has kept his prices decidedly reasonable. (AG)
Another last-released wine is the 2014 Chardonnay The Meadows Vineyard, which is a dry-farmed parcel planted with 100% Hanzell clone of Chardonnay. Much more orange marmalade, nectarine, pineapple and tropical fruits are present in this wine that has structure, great acid and a deep, medium to full-bodied mouthfeel. This is a beauty and should continue to drink well for another six or more years. This is an enviable winery run by Stephen Hansel with exceptionally high-quality Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs that he sells at modest prices, which speaks to his humility and commitment to serious wine consumers. There are more than 80 acres of estate, so it is not small, split evenly between Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. He breaks the cuvées down by their vineyard terroir/site. (RP)
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