Beginning with the 1999 vintage, I began to understand how this vineyard’s Chardonnay needs several years in bottle to begin to reach its potential. I am also learning to give it more than 12 months in barrel as well. It is more like a white Burgundy than a California Chardonnay, often fooling experienced tasters. The vineyard is so well suited for this variety that the Helfers have grafted over most of their Pinot Noir to a selection of Chardonnay budwood that they got from Kistler vineyards, their neighbor across Vine Hill Road. This vintage is most like the generous 2000 except that there were only two barrels, one new and one old.
Judi Scherrer –
Wine Enthusiast – November 2005
Spicy and rich, this Chard is a bit softer than Scherrer’s Fort Ross bottling, and is also leesy and oaky. The flavors are of peaches and apples. It shows a balanced complexity throughout. 91 Points. Steve Heimhoff