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Jeb Dunnuck Score: 98
If you check to see which Sonoma County winery has the highest average score for their wines, Hartford Family will be towards the top of that list! Founded in 1994 as a result of Don and Jennifer Hartford’s appreciation for the wines, the Hartford family makes delicious wines of high personality directly related to the difficult locations of their vineyard sources, the limited production of their bottlings, the varietals they use, and the immense talent of their winemaker Jeff Stewart. “Character through adversity” is an expression that they believe applies to people and grapevines and surviving adversity builds character, and personality, in both.

This bottling comes from a small vineyard block within the well-known Durrell Vineyard; it sits in the path of an ancient, uplifted river bed on the flank of Sonoma Mountain within the cool Sonoma Coast AVA. Tumbled and water-worn cobblestones now litter the landscape of the vineyard, and very little topsoil remains. The nutritionally deficient soils force the vines to search for water and generate considerable stress on the vines. The stressed vines in turn yield very small clusters with intense varietal flavors.

JEB DUNNUCK 98 POINTS - "From a site on the Sonoma Coast (this comes all from a block within the Durell Vineyard), the 2017 Chardonnay Stone Cote Vineyard reminds me of a Grand Cru Chablis on steroids, with gorgeous lemon curd, iodine, white flowers, crushed chalky, and a touch of green almond, with its oak beautifully integrated. Showing medium to full-bodied richness as well as flawless balance, this is a Chardonnay that builds with time in the glass as well as on the palate and has bright, salty acidity and incredible length. Beautifully done, it's another thrilling Chardonnay from this estate."
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