Monday thrill: Patz and Hall Chardonnay

Patz & Hall Hudson Vineyard Chardonnay Carneros (California) 2010, $50: OK, this is expensive. But consider¬† it is California “first growth” Chardonnay from a cooler growing site in a cooler vintage. As it relaxes in the glass, it’s like nougat candy on the nose framed with spicy oak and acidity. In the mouth the green apple, pear, lime components are matched by the almond, honey and mazipan notes. It’s sweet and delicate, yet powerful, on the midpalate. It’s a multi-dimensional wine. It’s dry and closed in, a wine worthy to drink now or lay down to rest awhile. The 2010 vintage was one of the coolest in California history, which delighted Chardonnay growers who could harvest grapes with great natural acidity. Patz & Hall is stellar producer, with contracts for grapes off some of the most famous vineyards. Hudson Vineyard was founded by Lee Hudson in the 1980s in a cooler area of Carneros planted to the Hudson-Wente clone.