Planted in the early 1990’s on lower vigor rootstock and very close spacing (one of the first planted this way in the area, actually), I have been working with this site since the late 1990’s. Originally, I took the Chardonnay to get the Pinot Noir. The next year I took the Pinot Noir to get the Chardonnay, then finally convinced Don Helfer to graft most of his Pinot Noir to Chardonnay for us in the early 2000’s.
Lemon marmalade, shortbread and a little petrichor greet the nose. On the mouth, initially rich and Puligny-like, with decent acidity it presents itself unlike typical CA Chardonnay. There is pear skin, Fuji apple flavors and a minerally finish. I think it is an exceptional Chardonnay site and have been really pleased to work with it continuously for more than 20 years.
Judi Scherrer –
Vinous – August 2022
The 2019 Chardonnay Helfer Vineyard is bright, understated and very nicely focused. Candied lemon peel, almond, mint, spice and light tropical accents all grace this finely-knit, inviting Chardonnay from Fred Scherrer. All the elements are so well put together. Sweet floral top notes lift the airy finish. 92 points. Antonio Galloni