2019 may stand out as one of the more exceptional vintages in recent memory. Cooler temperatures and stable weather for most of the growing season allowed for slow maturation of flavors without any heat events spiking sugar accumulation in the berries. Although 2019 also saw the devastating Kincade fire in Sonoma County, Pinot Noir and most Chardonnays in the county were harvested by then, so the smoke did not affect the grapes. Overall, look for wines with slightly lower alcohol, higher but integrated acids, and a depth of flavor that you would probably have to go back several vintages to find an equal.
“The 2019 Chardonnay Tenth Stop comes from the Dutton Palms Vineyard on the Sonoma Coast and saw the same vinification and élevage as all the wines. It’s still young and tight, with promising notes of crushed citrus, lemon curd, toasted spices, and poached pear. Rich, full-bodied, and one of the richer, softer wines on the palate, it nevertheless has lots of depth and an almost red wine sense of structure that makes me think it’s going to improve with age. I’d give bottles another year or two and it should see its tenth birthday in fine form.”
– 95+pts, Jeb Dunnuck