Hawk Hill Chardonnay

When the opportunity arose for Freeman to start working with Hawk Hill Chardonnay, we jumped at the chance. Owners Margaret and Bill Yarak do a brilliant job of farming the vineyard with the help of Arturo Robledo and Greg Adams, and their care shines through in the grapes each year.

Located just five miles from the Pacific Ocean, Hawk Hill Vineyard is blanketed by rolling fog in the mornings, then cooled in the afternoons by bracing ocean winds. These conditions allow the vineyard to benefit  from some of the longest hang times in California. Aside from the challenges of higher humidity due to the fog, the site is ideal for growing perfectly balanced Chardonnay.

This is Freeman’s third vintage of Hawk Hill Chardonnay. 2019 was an excellent year in the Sonoma Coast appellation—typically cool for the region throughout the growing season, with abundant rainfall in the winter. Apart from intermittent-but-brief warm spells, most of the vintage was characterized by cool, foggy nights and mornings followed by gorgeous, sunny afternoons. This led to a later harvest than normal, with the ripeness of the grapes coinciding with the physiological ripeness of the entire vine. When we began harvesting Hawk Hill on September 30, we had already brought in the fruit from all but one of our vineyards.

The 2019 Hawk Hill Chardonnay has the appearance of a very young wine, with a clear, slightly chartreuse color. On the nose, it has aromas of passion fruit, grapefruit, nutmeg, dusty earth and Gravenstein apples. As usual for Hawk Hill, the bright acidity stands out on the palate and welcomes flavors of peaches, tart apples, lemon chiffon and lightly toasted almonds. With its long, elegant finish of bright fruit, we anticipate that this excellent, cool-climate Chardonnay will be at its best between 2021 and 2026.

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Specs

Vineyards
  • 100% Hawk Hill, Sonoma Coast
Clones
  • UCD 4
Barrel Aging
10 months in French oak:
  • 7% new
  • 93% mostly neutral
Bottling
July 2020
Fermentation
Fermented in barrels, aged on the lees
Production
  • 750 ml: 330 cases