Old World meets New World in this family partnership between the Hydes of Hyde Vineyard (Carneros, Napa), their cousin Pamela (née Fairbanks), and her husband, Aubert de Villaine, co-director of the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti (Burgundy). From the very first vintage in 2000, Hyde de Villaine wines have shown their pedigree, fusing the finesse and balance of Old-World winemaking with the exuberance of California fruit from the legendary Hyde Vineyard.
Hyde de Villaine (HdV) represents the shared history, experience and vision of these two families. Bringing the rich traditions of France’s winemaking techniques, Aubert drives Hyde de Villaine’s viticulture and winemaking philosophy — one that espouses minimal intervention by the winemaker in order to express the varietal, the vineyard and the vintage. Larry brings a legacy of family farming in California and over four decades of experience growing wine grapes in Napa Valley, particularly Carneros. Aubert and Larry are both innovators with a desire for continuous improvement in the vineyard, and they have established a culture around the pursuit of excellence for Hyde de Villaine wines over the past 23 years.
Hyde de Villaine (HdV) Chardonnay is distinctive from its Californian counterparts for its minerality, structure and natural acidity, all of which provide a fresh, seamless wine that pairs beautifully with food. Sourced from older-vine blocks at Hyde Vineyard, the 30-plus-year-old vines produce a wine of character and concentration. This wine is aged in French oak (20 percent new) for 12 months, followed by three months in stainless steel and an additional 14 months of bottle maturation. Reminiscent of grand cru Burgundy, this wine will age gracefully for two decades.
- Vineyards: Hyde Vineyard, at the eastern edge of Los Carneros District
- Appellation: Los Carneros, Napa Valley
- Size: 8.64 acres
- Vine Age: 25 to 37 years
- Clones: “Old Wente” and Calera
- Soil: Shallow loam over clay hardpan
- Exposure: South by southeast
2016 started with a cold and wet winter, which gave the vines a well-deserved dormancy after the fast-paced growing season of 2015. Bud break occurred in mid-March and was followed by a dry and warm spring. This resulted in a healthy and vigorous canopy and ideal pollination, resulting in a bountiful crop.
Heavy fog in early August slowed down the maturation process and allowed for optimal phenolic development while retaining the freshness and natural acidity Hyde Vineyard is known for.
- Harvest Date(s): August 27–September 12 2016
- Malolactic: Yes
- Aging: 11 months in French oak; 80% barrels (20% new) and 20% foudre
- Bottled: November 15, 2017; unfined and unfiltered
Chalky at first, the 2016 Chardonnay takes its time to reveal citrus blossoms, lime peel, crushed stone, apricots and pure lemon and apple fruit with dusty, minerally nuances. The palate walks a wonderful line of pure, ripe fruits and fresh citrusy and rocky accents. It has a silky texture, tangy lift and a very long, nuanced finish. This has the stuffing and structure to be very long lived.