2015 Stony Hill Chardonnay

Lamentations regarding California chardonnay's steady decline into homogeneity have been well-documented on this site.  Uniformity, however, is a secondary compliant to what is more troubling: most of them are too rich, have too much residual sugar, are too cloying, and have been subjected to way too much oak.  This too-much-of-everything character has often given the impression of being yelled at. 

In what feels like a cosmic attempt to prove that there are exceptions to the rule, three impressive samples of northern California chardonnay arrived all close together.  FEL's complex chard from Anderson Valley and  Smith-Madrone's majestic chardonnay from up on Spring Mountain were very solid without betraying the archetypal identity that California chardonnay has become synonymous with.  But Stony Hill's throwback bottling - also from Spring Mountain - is a haunting wine that won me over, even if it took a few days for the infatuation to set in. 

2015 Stony Hill Chardonnay Spring Mountain $48
Pale, straw like color leads into a rich, concentrated, almost animalistic nose.  Very round and plump, showing deep, clean fruit framed by glycerine, vanilla, a velvety texture, and even a shimmer of acidity to round it out. Delivers all of this with a mercifully moderate alcohol level. After a few days open, it really relaxed and developed its harmonious side; a sign that this would be a fun wine to revisit in years to come. A languid wine unafraid to be what it is but without being showy. Unique and memorable, if pricey.