Hartford Family Winery
2012 Four Hearts Vineyard Chardonnay
California: Sonoma County: Russian River Valley
Today’s Hartford Court 2012 Four Hearts Chardonnay is a stunning wine. This extraordinary Chardonnay was lovingly handmade by winemaker Jeff Stewart. An alum of Laurier, De Loach, Mark West, Kunde, La Crema and most recently Buena Vista Carneros, Jeff’s passion for wine was ignited when he traveled to France as a teen. There, he became fascinated with wine as an integral part of life.
Today’s wondrous Chardonnay is a rich and delicious wine that is elegant and perfectly balanced. There is power on the palate, but the wine is also so soft and elegant - which makes it something of a mystical aberration. The finish is extraordinarily long, with exotic fruit that juxtaposes beautifully against soft earthen components.
Enjoy this very highly recommended wine with a wide array of foods, such as ripe cheeses, seafoods or game bird. We’ll also enjoy a few bottles of ours as a delicious aperitif.
A super light, pale golden hue from heart to outer rim, with a touch of viscosity as you swirl in the glass.
Exotic and very floral on the nose, highlighted by lychee, pineapple, mango, white blossom, buttery vanilla spice, and slight herbal notes of sage and rosemary.
Bold and powerful, yet also beautifully balanced. Fruit flavors of Anjou pear, candied Meyer lemon, and pineapple mingle with sweet vanilla bean, nutmeg, lime zest, ginger, and clove, with just a touch of river rock minerality at the very end.
Long and lingering on the finish, with a wonderful acidity. This is a big and aromatic wine, with just enough elegance and restraint.
Perfect wine to pair with a rosemary, sage, and garlic rubbed pork chop, served with braised heirloom tomatoes.
What the Winery Says
Our family of four makes Four Hearts Vineyards Chardonnay from estate and neighboring vineyards located in the heart of the Russian River Valley AVA. The vineyards are planted with very diverse Chardonnay clonal selections that include old Wente, Sees and Rued field selections, Dijon Clone 95 and Clone 4. These clones and field selections are picked and fermented separately and only the best barrels from each lot are blended to make the final bottling. The 2011 Hartford Court Four Hearts Chardonnay has a weighty texture with spicy and layered flavors and finishes with a brightness that reflects the cool climate origins of the vineyards that comprise this blend. All wines are barrel fermented in French oak barrels, and complete full malolactic fermentation with bi-monthly lees stirring
This distinct Russian River Valley Chardonnay displays yellow apple, peach blossom, tangerine and crystallized ginger. Fresh flavors of Gravenstein apple and citrus are intertwined with layers of spice. A rich and weighty mid-palate is followed by a very long exotic, mineral infused finish.
94 Point Review - Wine Advocate …dried pears, flowers, spices and a hint of French oak are all woven together in a gorgeous wine that captures the essence of Chardonnay from this specific part of the Russian River…
- Jeff Stewart
- 94 Points - Wine Advocate
- Russian River Valley, Sonoma County, California
- 10 months in 100% French oak
About the Winery
Hartford Family Winery was founded in 1994 as a result of Don and Jennifer Hartford’s appreciation for the wines, the people, and the unique vineyards near their Russian River Valley home. Making delicious wines of high personality is directly related to the difficult locations of our vineyard sources, the limited production of our bottlings and the varietals we use.
“Character through adversity” is an expression that we believe applies to people and grapevines. Surviving adversity builds character, and personality, in both.
Winemaker Jeff Stewart
Born and raised in South Lake Tahoe, California, Jeff Stewart is, not surprisingly, an avid skier. But it was a summer trip to France and an enthusiastic chemistry teacher that enticed him away from the mountains and into winemaking.
“My summer in France was really my first experience with wine as part of the family meal. I was fascinated with the lifestyle and the importance of wine in that culture,” says Jeff. “I knew I wanted to pursue a career in science and, after several conversations with my high school chemistry teacher, I was soon enrolled in the Viticulture and Enology program at U.C. Davis.”
A UC Davis graduate with a degree in Fermentation Science, Viticulture, and Enology, Jeff has been making Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Old Vine Zinfandel in the Russian River and Sonoma County for over 25 years. Having also held winemaking positions at Laurier, De Loach, Mark West, Kunde, La Crema and most recently Buena Vista Carneros, Jeff brings with him a wealth of experience and an established reputation for quality.
His deft hand with cool climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in particular make him a perfect fit to lead the winemaking team at Hartford Family Winery.
Uniquely expressive, the vineyard sites chosen for Hartford Family Winery are located in some of the coolest areas of the Russian River Valley, Green Valley, Sonoma Coast, Anderson Valley and Carneros appellations.
We believe that limited intervention promotes the expression of vineyard personality or character and adds to our belief in sustainability.
We have performed in depth soils analyses of each of our vineyards. Different soils have been identified and vineyards were mapped into small blocks at the time of planting. Farming practices and rootstock/clonal selections are then tailored to the soils and other environmental conditions. Our goal is to allow each specific block within a vineyard to express its optimum, most distinctive character.
The least invasive farming principles are followed. Organic practices are employed in several of our vineyards and Biodynamic practices have been used at two sites. Several of our established vineyards are dry-farmed and not irrigated. We feel over-watering of vines produces more crop but dilutes flavors.