William Hill Bench Blend Chardonnay 2014
Wine SpectatorA rich, expressive style, with a deep core of opulent flavors built around fig, melon, apricot and butterscotch. Ends with a flash of buttery oak. Drink now through 2021. 3,368 cases made.
Wine AdvocateA real knockout is the 2014 Chardonnay Benchland Series, 100% Napa Valley, coming from elevated Benchland estate vineyards, more than half of them in St. Helena and the rest farther south in Carneros. Put through partial malolactic and aged 15 months in new and used French oak (50% new and the rest used French oak), this is a much bigger wine (14.9% alcohol) and exhibits that with its almost Chablis-like minerality, striking lemon zest, orange blossom and apple-butter-like notes. It is a beauty, medium to full-bodied, refreshing, with good acidity and surprisingly little evidence of oak. This is a much smaller cuvée of only 1,500 cases. Drink now-2020.
Wine EnthusiastThis is a full-bodied, decidedly rich white, generous in barrel toast and graham cracker scents. Baked apple pie flavors keep it feeling luxurious on the palate, its concentration persisting through the finish.