Wine Enthusiast, 91pts: Hestan 2009 Chardonnay (San Francisco Bay). Hestan only makes this one white wine.Though its beginnings might seem humble, the juice in the bottle surely will change anyone's mind. This is liquid gold in color, with deep petrol aromas and a note of toasted caramel oak.It's superbly balanced, with minerality winning the day—especially on the finish. This wine starts out like a California blockbuster but finishes very elegantly, with finesse.
Whitley on Wine, Robert Whitley, 89pts: (This) will please those who enjoy rich, oily, oak saturated Chards. I found this wine more appealing when first opened. But with time, air and as it warmed, the aromas of the wood began to dominate, which some will find attractive, though it isn't my preferred style.
Wine Spectator, July 31, 2008: Hestan Chardonnay is the only white wine that Napa Cabernet specialist Mark Herold makes. He utilizes an unlikely grape source—a 2-acre vineyard planted outside the headquarters of Hestan owner Stanley Cheng's other business: Meyer Corp., a global cookware company based in downtown Vallejo, south of Napa Valley. Cheng says he initially planted grapevines as a landscaping alternative for three reasons: He likes wine; grapevines are drought-tolerant; and they look nice. He discovered that the cooling influence of nearby San Pablo Bay allows his fruit to ripen slowly, maximizing fig and apricot flavors. Future bottlings will carry the "San Francisco Bay" designation.
WineSkinny.com, Robyn Tinsley: A really lovely wine, offering impressive layers of fig, tropical melon, dried pineapple, cream, spicy oak and hazelnut notes. Starts broad and fleshy; finishes focused and sleek, lingering nicely. Delicious now and should age nicely for a few years.
Wine Enthusiast, by Steve Heimoff, 91pts: The winery doesn't tell us where in this gigantic, multicounty region the grapes came from, but it's quite a good wine. Firm in citrusy acids, with a mineral undertow, it's a dry, elegant wine with complex notes of pineapples, buttered toast and creamy lees. Lots of oak, but it's integrated with the fruit.
Wine Spectator, by James Laube, 92pts: Bold, rich and creamy, with intense, concentrated fig, melon, spice and hazelnut flavors that fold together nicely, offering excellent depth and a long, persistent, elegant finish. Drink now through 2011. 400 cases made.
Wine Spectator, by James Laube, 92pts: This wine unfolds to reveal layers of complex flavors, starting with a buttery hazelnut and vanilla oak flavor, rich fig, apricot and melon flavors that return to mocha and hazelnut on the finish. Drink now through 2009. 325 cases made.
Wine Spectator, by James Laube, 94pts: This rich, full-blown, opulent wine is oozing with layers of fig, pear, apricot, spice and cedar notes. Impeccably balanced, it succeeds at delivering a load of flavor while maintaining a sense of elegance and finesse. Drink now through 2009. 325 cases made.
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