Hawk Hill Vineyard
2014 marks the first harvest at Hawk Hill for new owners Margaret and Bill Yarak. I’ve been getting fruit from this vineyard since 2001 so when the Michelczyk’s told me they were selling I was concerned. It turns out that it has been a seamless transition with my friend Greg Adams retained as a consultant and they have the same vineyard manager and the same winery partners. As I’ve gotten to know the Yaraks I’ve found that they have the same enthusiasm and commitment to excellence that I’ve enjoyed since 2001. It’s a good thing as they have a very special vineyard that is a great place for Chardonnay.
I’ve opened a number of older Chardonnays from Hawk Hill to show Margaret and Bill how wonderfully the wines age. They seem to build richness to match the lovely acidity and we get a wine that really hits its stride with a few years in bottle. While some might want to rush the wines to market, I’ve found that 9 months in barrel and another 15 months in bottle is just about right, although the wine seems to be really nice about the time the wine sells out!
This 2014 follows the style of the 2013, but it seems to be a little richer and creamier at a comparable time in its development, perhaps due to lower yields and the effects of our continuing drought. Lots of lemon notes, then a rich middle palate that hides the underlying acidity that gives the wine tension. It is unmistakably Hawk Hill and I would rank it in the top tier of my Chardonnay wines that I’ve made and it should continue to improve for another 5 years. An excellent wine with seafood or lemon chicken.