Havens Winery Carneros Reserve Chardonnay 2012
By Aaron Pott
By Jonathan H. Newman*
HAVENS WINERY 2012 NAPA VALLEY CHARDONNAY by Aaron Pott
UNIT SIZE: 750.00 ml
COUNTRY: United States
REGION: Napa Valley
ALCOHOL CONTENT: 13.50%
A very nice, stylized Chardonnay layered with fresh fruit by well-regarded winemaker Aaron Pott. I visited with him in Napa Valley this November to sample wines and discuss his winemaking philosophy. Pott has developed a wonderful reputation making wine for respected names like Blackbird, Seven Stones and his own namesake label. This Napa Chardonnay is from two nice vineyards including the Thomson vineyard in Los Carneros and in Napa’s St. Helena located next to Heitz Cellars. 2012 was an incredible year in both Carneros and St. Helena and this wine is representative of the gorgeous crop. This wine spent six months in primarily new French oak. Bountiful aromas of peach, green apple, lychee and brioche with a creamy vanilla. The palette is rich but by no means over the top. It is primarily tropical fruit with peach, nectarine, pear, and green apple with touches of caramel, spice and vanilla. Will pair with a wide range of food including shrimp, macadamia encrusted tilapia, crab cakes, chicken francaise or pork chops. Enjoy now and over the next several years. Bottled in November, 2013. 680 cases were produced.
By Havens Winery
2012 Napa Valley Chardonnay
The Vineyard and Winemaker
The 2012 limited production Havens Napa Valley Chardonnay is a marriage of two superlative microclimate & soils of Napa Valley: "Carneros region in the South" & " St. Helena in the North", 50% of the grapes that went into the making of this wines came from "Thomson Vineyards", a well-known grower whose grapes go to some of the most expensive Napa Valley wines. "Thomsom Vineyards" is located at 1605 Los Carneros Ave, in the outskirts of the city of Napa, with close proximity to the San Francisco bay, which provides a cool climate character for these grapes. After whole-cluster pressing, the Chardonnay juice barrel fermented in new barrels and aged sure lie for 6 months. During this period the barrels were routinely stirred to increase yeast contact & add richness. The 50% of the grapes comes from the warm microclimate of St. Helena area, vineyards located next to the famous Heitz Cellars. These grapes were fermented in small stainless steel tanks to bring maximum fruit character without being overwhelmed by oaky characters of small barrels. The cool climate Carneros portion of the wine bring extreme structure & elegance to the wine, while the warm climate, St. Helena portion of the wine brings luscious ripe, fruity characters to the table. It is the marriage of these two microclimates that create a world-class wine.
The 2012 growing season has been exceptional, the moderate weather throughout the growing season has put little pressure on the vines, and provided grapes with well-balanced chemistries. The 2012 harvest is making up for the low yielding 2011 crush, with most varieties picking at above average yields. The 2012 harvest is shaping up to be one that will become known for it abundance of fruit and quality wines.
This Chardonnay shows a beautiful rich golden straw color in the glass with clean pure aromas of pear and crisp green apple, all overlaid with light tropical fruit notes and a hint of honeysuckle. On the palate, this wine has wonderful fullness and creaminess without being heavy. A clean soft entry is quickly followed by crisp acidity and a rich display of fruit including juicy nectarine and white peach along with a hint of lychee and fresh citrus. The flavors on the finish are reminiscent of pear tart while the oak contribution is well integrated throughout the profile, with just a touch of nuttiness showing through.
Harvest Date: September 14-18, 2012
Fermentation: 50% Barrel Fermented, 50% Stainless Steel
Malolactic Fermentation: 100%
Barrel Aging: 6 Months in French Oak
Blend: 100% Chardonnay
Appellation: Napa Valley
[Information provided by J.H.N.]
*Jonathan Newman was Wine Enthusiasts’ Man of the Year. He also was Chairman of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board, and received national recognition in Marvin Shanken’s Market Watch Magazine and many other international wine publications. He was also awarded the Guild of Sommeliers highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award. Mr. Newman's reviews have been published and quoted extensively online and in print. He travels extensively to many of the major wine growing regions and evaluates many of the wines we source from smaller and boutique wineries. We interact closely with him and the result is his rejection rate of over 96% of the wines evaluated.