You would think that Chalk Hill sits on a strange outcropping of Chalk in Sonoma County, instead much of the soil in the AVA is volcanic ash that is white and therefore mistaken for chalk. If you love rich bold unapologetically CA style wines the Chalk Hill brings it. Cassis, cedar, wild cherry and chocolate dominate the palate. Held together nicely by firm tannin, this wine delivers the goods.
Founded in 1972, Chalk Hill Estate made their name with Chardonnay, but in 2010 they made a splash in the pages of the Wine Advocate with their 2007 Proprietary Red, scoring 95 points. To this day it remains one of the finest wines to emerge each year from the Chalk Hill AVA. In fact, you flipped for the 2013 Chalk Hill red wine, which sold out in a flash thanks to its luxurious profile and its nice 96-point score from the Wine Advocate.
Wine & Spirits
Chalk Hill’s 300 acres of vines, on a rise above the Russian River Valley to the west and the Alexander Valley to the north, grow on varied topsoils over white volcanic ash. The top selection of red wine from the estate consistently focuses on cabernet sauvignon and malbec (this vintage 49 and 40 percent, respectively, with 11 percent petit verdot). The combination takes cabernet’s red fruit notes of cherries and currants toward a gentle, gamey richness. It’s meaty and savory, lasting on floral notes of lavender and violets. Sustaining freshness over the course of several days, this is a wine to cellar, or to decant for roast squab.
Opaque purple-black in color, the 2017 Estate Red is a blend of 49% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Malbec and 11% Petit Verdot. It offers slowly unfurling aromas of cassis and black plums with notions of graphite, clay, mint chocolate and cigars. The full-bodied palate offers minerally fruits with a gently chalky frame and very good freshness to lift the finish.