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Ratings and Reviews

WHITNEY'S VINEYARD, CHARDONNAY

Sonoma County

VintageRatingPublication
201393 PointsAntonio Galloni, Vinous Media
The 2013 Chardonnay Whitney's Vineyard captures all the intensity I sensed when I tasted it from barrel. Honey, almonds, candied orange peel, wild flowers and mint form a super-appealing tapestry of aromas, flavors and textures. The 2013 is quite rich and viscous on the palate, but not at all heavy. Over the last year, the 2013 has become more subtle than it was last year. This is a lovely Chardonnay from Fisher.
 
201394 PointsRobert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2013 Chardonnay Whitney's Vineyard is terrific, and as with the other wines, it is made from an Old Wente selection. It offers up notes of white currants, quince, crushed rock, citrus oil and a touch of tangerine. It has great fruit, full body and a beautiful integration of acidity and wood. Moreover, it finishes with considerable authority. It should drink well for 5-7 years. This is my favorite of the four Chardonnays, although they are all outstanding.
 
201291 PointsRobert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2012 Chardonnay Whitney's Vineyard shows loads of citrus oil, orange blossom, a touch of marmalade and wet rocks. It is medium to full-bodied, a very fresh, pure, and again like all of these Fisher Chardonnays, the oak is restrained and judiciously utilized. It should drink well for 3-4 years at minimum.
 
201295 PointsAntonio Galloni, Vinous Media
The 2012 Chardonnay Whitney's Vineyard is rich, powerful and explosive to the core. This is a decidedly big, broad-shouldered wine built on serious depth. Dried pears, flowers and mint add complexity as the wine opens up in the glass. Here, too, there is a sense of real phenolic intensity that is impossible to miss.
 
201193 PointsStephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Vivid gold. Pungent, mineral- and smoke-accented aromas of poached pear, melon and peach pit, with a hint of iodine in the background. Rich but lively on the palate, offering incisive orchard and citrus fruit flavors and a suave floral quality. Picks up toasted nut and sweet butter nuances with air and finishes with excellent clarity, grip and mineral-driven persistence. Reminds me a lot of a ripe-year Meursault, and built to age.
 
201191-93 PointsRobert Parker's Wine Advocate
Interestingly, the 2011 Chardonnay Whitney's Vineyard is the richer of the two Chardonnays, which is the exact opposite of 2010. A creamy, expansive wine, the 2011 caresses the palate from start to finish with layers of expressive fruit. The malolactic fermentation is totally complete in the Whitney's, which also contributes to the wine's more generous feel compared to the Estate. It will be interesting to see where both of the 2011s end up in a year's time. The 2011 hadn't quite finished its malolactic fermentation at the time of this tasting.
 
201092 PointsStephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Pale gold. Mineral-accented aromas of lemon curd, apple and fig, with spice and iodine accents and a hint of smokiness. Juicy, sharply focused yet seamless citrus and orchard fruit flavors are complemented by deeper-pitched notes of vanilla and honey. Finishes dry and very long, with resonating minerality and a hint of licorice.
 
200991 PointsStephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright gold. Musky, intensely perfumed nose offers lime, lemongrass, smoky lees and herbs. Then big, round and supple in the mouth, with complex notes of citrus pith, candied ginger, minerals and anise. A very smooth, densely packed chardonnay that finishes with very good persistence and lingering spiciness.
 
200994 PointsRobert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2009 Chardonnay Whitney's Vineyard is gorgeous. There is plenty of intensity and finesse, but the 2009 is really about understated elegance. Layers of fruit caress the palate in the textured, mineral-infused finish. This is a fabulous effort. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2016.
 
200892 PointsRobert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2008 Chardonnay Whitney's Vineyard is richer, rounder and deeper than the Mountain Estate but the style and flavor profile are quite similar. The Whitney's also underwent full malolactic fermentation. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2015.
 
200892 PointsStephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright gold. Sexy aromas of peach, dried apricot, honeydew and smoky oak spices. Tactile and very nuanced, with deep but energetic melon and pit fruit flavors complemented by candied ginger and vanilla. The smooth, broad finish clings with very good tenacity, repeating the ginger note.
 
200791-93 PointsRobert Parker's Wine Advocate
Sensational... the light straw/greenish color is accompanied by distinctive aromas of poached pears, honeysuckle, caramelized currants, orange blossoms, and nectarines. Full-bodied, elegant, and rich, it went through partial malolactic and was aged on its lees for a considerable amount of time, which added texture and length.
 
200792 PointsStephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Yellow-gold. Deep pit fruit and tangerine aromas are complicated by toasty lees and baking spices. Weighty yellow plum and dried pear flavors gain energy with air and pick up a refreshingly bitter lemon pith quality. The finish repeats the smoke, mineral and leesy notes and clings impressively. Projects more power than the Mountain Estate bottling as well as more complexity.
 
200690+ PointsStephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
(From a vineyard at 1,200 feet, planted in 1975) Pale yellow-gold. Reticent but pure nose suggests orange zest, spices, minerals and fresh herbs. Subdued and rather delicate on the palate, offering flavors of dusty stone, talc and orchard and soft citrus fruits... Finishes spicy and long, with a lightly saline quality; this melts into the palate like a sake. Initially seemed a bit warm on the back but showed better grip and finishing minerality with aeration. This is from an old Wente clone, while the Mountain Estate Vineyard is planed to Dijon clones.
 
200590-92 PointsRobert Parker's Wine Advocate
From an older (33 years) Chardonnay vineyard, the 2005 Chardonnay Whitney's Vineyard possesses attractive notes of honeyed lemons, poached pears, white peaches, and spices. Medium-bodied and elegant with expressive aromas as well as flavors, it should drink well for 2-3 years.
 
200493 PointsRobert Parker's Wine Advocate
The gorgeously opulent 2004 Chardonnay Whitney's Vineyard displays fine underlying acidity buttressing a hefty Chardonnay. Honeyed grapefruit, white currants, and subtle smoky hazelnuts are followed by a wine with beautiful texture and a long, heady finish. Drink it over the next 2-3 years.
 
200291 PointsRobert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2002 Whitney's Vineyard Estate reveals an exotic, lychee nut and honeysuckle-scented nose with fresh white currants and smoky hazelnut characteristics in the backround. This beautifully made white is ideal for drinking over the next 1-2 years.
 
200293 PointsJames Laube, The Wine Spectator
Bold, ripe, rich and concentrated, with layers of ripe, creamy pear, fig toasty oak and honeysuckle flavors. Full-bodied, complex and focused, it has excellent acidity, which keeps the flavors lively, finishing with a nice dash of hazelnut. Drink now through 2008. 500 cases made.
 
200192 PointsJames Laube, The Wine Spectator
An ultrarich, high glycerol style, with layers of fig, apricot, honeysuckle and nectarine. Sleek and complex, with a long, lively aftertaste sustained by minerally acidity. Drink now through 2006. 148 cases made.
 
199990 PointsRobert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 1999 Chardonnay Whitney's Vineyard, which is named after the proprietor's daughter, is a full-bodied Chardonnay that has seen full malolactic fermentation, buy it tends to offer orange/tangerine, citrus oils, and honeysuckle in a full-bodied, concentrated, very graceful style, with good underlying acidity. This wine shows beautiful balance and the potential to last for 2-4 years.
 
199993 PointsJames Laube, The Wine Spectator
A smooth, rich and seductive wine, laden with fig, pear, butterscotch and pretty toasty oak and vanilla-scented flavors that build momentum and linger on. Drink now through 2005. 140 cases made.
 
199890 PointsRobert Parker's Wine Advocate
The stunning 1998 Chardonnay Whitney's Vineyard reveals lots of acidity, but offers orange marmalade, lemon butter, attractive leesy notes, minerality, and smoky fruit flavors. Full-bodied, with more flavor dimension and complexity than the Coach Insignia, it should drink well for 3-4 years.
 
199791 PointsRobert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 1997 Chardonnay Whitney's Vineyard (400 cases) is 100% barrel-fermented and aged, of which 45% are new. Primarily made from an old Wente clone, it possesses more minerality than the Coach Insignia. The backward, full-bodied 1997 is intensely rich with wet stone/cold steel notes nicely etched in the spicy, leesy, smoky fruit flavors. The wine is highly-extracted yet displays good underlying structure and acidity. It should drink well for 5-6 years.
 
199592 PointsRobert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 1995 Chardonnay Whitney's Vineyard is even more intense than the Coach Insignia, with a smoky, orange peel and ripe pineapple-scented nose, layers of chewy, unctuously-textured fruit, and a mouthfeel not dissimilar from a top vintage of Burgundy's Coche-Dury Meursault. This fat, ripe Chardonnay is ideal for drinking over the next 1-2 years.
 
199491 PointsRobert Parker's Wine Advocate
Fisher's Chardonnays are made in a style that emphasizes the fruit more than lavish quantities of toasty oak. These are bold, flavorful, concentrated wines that boast plenty of power. Even more honeyed and distinctive than the 1993 is the 1994 Chardonnay Whitney's Vineyard (400 cases). The decadent, exotic, honeyed pineapple-like nose is followed by a rich, unctuously thick, lavishly-oaked Chardonnay with low acidity and layers of chewy fruit and glycerin.
 
199392 PointsRobert Parker's Wine Advocate
The spectacular 1993 Whitney's Vineyard Chardonnay displays a tell-tale, honeyed tangerine/orange peel nose, well-integrated toasty oak (50% new oak is utilized), and a full-bodied, layered, concentrated finish. This Chardonnay is best drunk in its first 2-4 years of life. Readers should look for the 1994 and 1993 Chardonnays from Whitney's Vineyard. Since there are only 400-500 cases of Chardonnay produced from this 20-year old vineyard on the hillside next to the winery, it is a good idea to get your order in quickly.
 
199293 PointsRobert Parker's Wine Advocate
The Chardonnays emanating from this estate are some of the finest now being made in California. The 1992 Chardonnay Whitney's Vineyard (only 300 six-bottle cases of this sure-fire superstar were produced) is a spectacularly concentrated Chardonnay. With a honeyed, tangerine/orange and buttery fruitiness, great ripeness, medium to full body, gorgeously integrated acidity, as well as a judicious dose of smoky new oak, this flavorful, complex, multidimensional Chardonnay should drink well for another 2-3 years.

Fisher Vineyards, perched high in the mountains not far from the Sonoma/Napa county line, is making a bevy of profound wines that merit considerable interest. The rise in quality, complexity, and potential of Fisher's wines is one of the bright shining stories in recent California wine history. Proprietor Fred Fisher deserves considerable praise for moving his wines away from the tart, lean, highly acidified and processed, oenologically correct style, to wines bursting with personality, flavor, and high quality.