It is rare to find a winery that produces top Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel. Hartford Court focuses on producing great cool site single vineyard wines from Russian River Valley, Green Valley, Sonoma Coast, Anderson Valley and Carneros. Founded by innovator, Don Hartford, grew up on a farm in Massachusetts. Following his completion of a BA he met his wife, Jennifer Jackson-Hartford of Jackson Family Wines, at Santa Clara University while he was completing his law degree. Don's prestigious legal career included working at Tokyo law firm, as well as a large San Francisco-based firm. Don was also was a partner in a small country law partnership, and served for a time as a winery general counsel and vice president. For more than twenty-five years, Don has immersed himself winemaking and winery management.
His winemaker, Jeff Stewart, crafts some stunning wines. A longstanding winemaker, Jeff has a degree from UC Davis in fermentation science, viticulture, and enology, and has been making Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and old vine Zinfandel in the Russian River Valley and Sonoma County for over 25 years. HIs new releases were truly excellent across the board. One of the great California Chardonnays that I have tried all year, the 2015 Hartford Court ‘Fog Dance Vineyard’ Chardonnay (WWB, 94) electrifies the palate with bright acidity and gorgeous creme brûlée flavors. This is one for the cellar. Just was good was the 2015 Hartford Court ‘Velvet Sisters’ Pinot Noir (WWB, 94) which like the name implies surrounds you with a velvety texture. It is a stunning wine that will age gracefully for more than a decade. Learn more about these gorgeous wines at https://www.hartfordwines.com Here are the great new wines by Hartford Court.
2016 Hartford Court ‘Russian River Valley’ Chardonnay- The nose starts off with honeysuckle, ripe pear and butterscotch. The texture, balance and bright acidity of this wine marvelously combines, leading to an exceedingly long, mineral and Meyer lemon cream driven finish. This is a simply outstanding effort that will cellar well over the next decade. Drink 2018-2026- 92
2015 Hartford Court ‘Sevens Bench Vineyard’ Chardonnay- Located in the Carneros AVA, this brightly colored Chardonnay begins with aromas of roasted hazelnut, vanilla creme brûlée and wild mushroom. The palate is opulent and shows wonderful brightness and minerality. Meyer lemon custard, Pink Lady apple and kumquat flavors mingle with a lithe mouthfeel that ha both poise and weight. This is a memorable wine by Hartford Court. Drink 2018-2028- 94
2015 Hartford Court ‘Fog Dance Vineyard’ Chardonnay- The Fog Dance Vineyard has a strong influence from the Pacific Ocean and is set in the Green Valley. The wine shows a beautiful golden hue and opens with a bright bouquet of brioche, butterscotch and Meyer lemon cream. The palate has a wonderful seamless quality, with a lifted approach. Kumquat, poached pear, lemon meringue and creme brûlée flavors connect with the lovely tension. This is a stunner by Hartford Court and will continue to pick up lovely tertiary elements as it ages into the next decade. Drink 2018-2030- 94
2016 Hartford Court ‘Russian River Valley’ Pinot Noir- The nose entices with cedar undertones alongside red fruits and damp earth. The palate greets you with some mouth-watering acidity and a wonderfully smooth texture. Bright, with strawberry, red cherry and cran-pomegranate flavors, this outstanding Pinot Noir will cellar marvelously for a decade or more. Drink 2018-2028- 92
2015 Hartford Court ‘Marin County’ Pinot Noir- The 2015 ‘Marin County’ Pinot Noir is a sensational effort by Hartford Court. The nose is highly complex with smoky and earthy aromas parading with red fruits. The palate has a wonderful astringency, weight and verve as the wine builds in the glass. Red cherry candy, guava puree and teaberry flavors connect with the minerality. Drink 2018-2030- 93
2015 Hartford Court ‘Land’s End Vineyards’ Pinot Noir- The ‘Land’s End Vineyards’ Pinot Noir is sourced from estate vineyards located in the Sonoma Coast AVA. There is a wonderful salinity to this wine that gently unveils red and dark fruits with smoke on the nose. The palate is rich and lithe showing off a huge range of flavors. Red cherry, pomegranate seed, cigar ash and wet stone with citrus rind flavors come to mind. This gorgeous and layered bottling will cellar marvelously over the next fifteen years. Drink 2018-2033- 94
2015 Hartford Court ‘Sevens Bench Vineyard’ Pinot Noir- The Sevens Bend Vineyard is planted on rocky clay loam and utilizes Dijon Clone 777 and UC Davis Clone 37. Lavender, red cherry and wild strawberry aromas coat the glass. The gorgeous nose brings you back to the glass for more. As it continues to evolve in the glass, the wine shows off a nice combination of red and dark fruits with a silky smooth texture. Lithe, layered and rich this stunning wine will cellar marvelously over the next fifteen plus years. Drink 2018-2033- 94
2015 Hartford Court ‘Velvet Sisters’ Pinot Noir- The ‘Velvet Sisters’ saw 16 months of 40% new French oak and is sourced from the Anderson Valley AVA. Needing time in the glass to develop, it slowly begins with a nice combination of citrus rind, red fruits and dark fruits all woven together in the glass. As the wine grabs some air, the wine takes on a darker fruit profile on the palate, still maintaining a citrus rind edge. Rich and decadent, yet restrained, this stunning wine will cellar well for the next fifteen to twenty years. Be sure to give this a two hour decant if enjoying in its youth. Drink 2018-2033- 94
2016 Hartford Court ‘Old Vine’ Zinfandel- This Russian River bottling begins with heady aromas of bramble, red currant jelly and cherry preserves with a touch of blueberry puree. The blue fruits on the nose surprise you a bit. The palate has racy acidity and wonderful weight that delights the senses. Blackberry pie, blueberry cordial and red cherry flavors all beautifully mingle in the glass. The structure and integrity of the wine, as well as the terroir, is just exceptional. Drink 2018-2028- 93
2016 Hartford Court ‘Highwire Vineyard’ Zinfandel- The Highwire Vineyard was first planted more than a century again in the Russian River Valley. Half of the vineyard is trained on a high trellis wire. The nose needs a one hour decant to fully develop in the glass. Once aroused there are ripe prune, blueberry coulee, creme de cassis and crushed mint aromas. The palate has a wonderfully silky texture, with a wonderful cominination of dark and red fruit that connect with the silky mouthfeel. Deep and seductive, this is an extremely sexy Zinfandel by Hartford Court. Drink 2018-2028- 94