It is almost impossible to overstate the quality of wines that both Aubert de Villaine and Larry Hyde have made. Combining the high-quality Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay with the Co-Director of Domaine Romanée Conti's extensive wine-making history may have been the luckiest thing to happen to any Chardonnay connoisseur. This wine will surely impress any Burgundy or Napa Chardonnay drinker.
Hyde de Villaine is a venture between the Hyde Family of Napa Valley and the de Villaine Family of Burgundy. We were lucky enough for there to have been a marriage between these two families, which has enabled this estate to come to fruition. The grapes are all grown at the Hyde Vineyard in Carneros that Larry Hyde planted there nearly 40 years ago. The vineyard is farmed with sustainability in mind, promoting a healthy microbiome in the soil pushing the vines to produce exceptional grapes. The old age of the vines plus the careful attention that the team provides through the growing season ultimately produces wine that is nothing short of exceptional.
February saw abundant rains, followed by lots of filtered light in spring and early summer. Both bud break and flowering occurred a bit late, but under ideal weather conditions, creating plentiful and even fruit set. Summer brought generous sun during the day and cooler marine influences, virtually uninterrupted by major heat spikes. The relatively mild summer followed by extended fall sunshine and moderate heat created near-ideal conditions for winemakers to allow their fruit to accumulate flavor complexity with gradual increases in sugar levels.
Aging: 14 months in 20% new French Oak Barrels
Tasting Notes: 100% Chardonnay. Freshness and brightness take center stage in the precise structure of this wine. Aromas of jasmine and lime blossom pair with Meyer lemon and green apple, which lead to hints of baking spices and toasted brioche. The palate bursts with vibrant acidity and mouth-coating textures, giving way to a lingering mineral-driven finish. The focus and tension of this wine promise aging for years to come.
Opulent aromas of cooked apple, lemon rind, light praline and stone. Full-bodied with linear and lively acidity that runs through the wine. Energetic and bright with tightness and structure. Steely. Drinkable now, but better in 2023. ~98 James Suckling
The 2018 Chardonnay Hyde Vineyard is a classy, polished wine. Silky and creamy, with gorgeous texture, the Hyde shows all of the richness this site is known for yet retains terrific energy and verve as well. Bright floral and mineral accents perk up the pear, lemon confit and light tropical fruit. ~94 Antonio Galloni
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