Hess Collection Chardonnay, Oak, and Texture

Posted on: April 30th, 2018 by

Anyone who knows me is aware I am a fan of oaky white wines. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that at a recent lunch I was invited to I fell hard for the Hess Collection Chardonnay (2016).

Hess Collection Chardonnay 2016

The Hess Collection Chardonnay is judiciously oaked.

Joining a small group of scribes at this meal was Nicole Carter, the chief marketing officer and director of winemaking for The Hess Collection. (Now that’s a busy person.) One thing she said about Chardonnay, and Napa Valley wines made from this grape in particular, struck me. “You have to deliver that texture,” said Carter.

I couldn’t agree more. The texture you get from oak is what makes most Chardonnay special. And though the Hess Collection Chardonnay spends nine months in oak, only 19% of the barrels are new. You do get a touch of luxurious toastiness. The real pilot of the ship, however, is the used oak delivering alluring texture.

Let’s talk about price. For $22, you’d be hard-pressed to find a single vineyard Chardonnay from Napa Valley with this kind of deft oak treatment. I am not sure what could hold a candle to it. This would be a great glass pour option for a restaurant.

Let’s take a look at the vineyard where it comes from, Su’skol:

Su'skol Vineyard

What would it take to get you to love oak and Chardonnay again? Or just like it?

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