This is one you can wrap your brain around as well as your palate. The Hess Collection Napa Valley Chardonnay 2010, $22, has body and layers of flavor; it’s crisp-tart-dry and still so tightly woven you can only guess at its potential as it ages. But who ages wine anymore? Just be prepared for a sipping wine, one to roll around in your mouth and catch the nuances. Apple, tangerine, almond, lemon and pear inside a wrapping of alcohol, brioche off the lees, acidity and light vanilla bean from the oak. A small portion sees new French oak; the majority spends time in neutral oak to add subtle complexity. It’s made off Hess’ Su’skol Vineyard in southern Napa near San Pablo Bay. The large vineyard is planted exclusively to Chardonnay with nine clones.
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