El Molino was established back in 1871. The winery, along with the historic label, was resurrected in 1981 by Reg Oliver who focused on incomparable Chardonnay and distinctive Pinot from an appellation admittedly more famed for Cabernet Sauvignon. He left a legacy of environmental stewardship and enthusiasm for Burgundy varietals that has not been lost on his daughter Lily and her husband, Jon Berlin (Jon & Lily pictured top right). Lilly moved to the winery with the family when she was nine, and since child labor was never frowned upon, there was a lot to be learned by the age-old tradition of apprenticeship under her father. Lily uses these time-honored techniques to fashion a Chardonnay of impeccable balance that can age for decades!
El Molino's 2016 Rutherford Chardonnay displays rich complex fruit aromatics with ruby grapefruit, key lime, and lemon oil to the fore, supported by wet slate, green apple, and white flowers. On the palate the entry is plush and broad with excellent viscosity and great acidity. Full flavored and rich the flavors are long and persistent on the finish. This may prove to be one of their longest lived Chardonnays, although much willpower will be required as it is drinking beautifully now.