Somebody posted a 2014 Chardonnay on twitter this morning and–of course–some 99%er immediately commented, “What made you think a 2014 Chardonnay would still be any good?” Stuff like that–while head-shakingly laughable–really is a kick in the gut to any intelligent wine-person, causing horrified pause. I mean… WHERE are these things taught? Is current wine-marketing to blame? Somm and wine-writer with their constant black & white pigeon-holing tips? The average life-span of wine today from shelf-to-table? Social media and the plethora of *everyone’s-an-expert* armchair advice? How rumors like this get started is beyond me, as we all know how ridiculously shallow–and erroneous–they are. 8YO Chardonnay??? I mean–come ON!

Nearly florescent canary in the glass–I expected a tad more gold. Ripe Golden Delicious in the nose, a slight caramel and enough celeriac grassiness to hint at Sancerre or Chenin. Rather tight mineral crispness runs down through rich fruity veins with shockingly moderate oak visible.

Intake wafts a bit of smokiness onto the palate pre-taste. Acid is a bit low, the wine instead showing copious amounts of the creaminess of spirit this variety is famous for in California. But to call it “buttery” would be a misnomer. The apple and pear contain plenty of pizzazz, with green banana chiming in, plastered with almond paste and an extremely mellow Dijon spiciness. Smooooooth and composed in the finish–I wouldn’t push this wine too many more years, but nothing shows an under-half-decade emergency. A bit of structural grippiness in the finish maintains that theme.

2014 RUTHERFORD HILL Chardonnay Carneros Napa Valley 14.5

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