91 Points - Wine Spectator
Earlier in the summer we featured the Heintz Vineyards Pinot Noir, an all estate program from the renowned Heintz vineyard on the Sonoma Coast. In addition to these estate wines, Heintz also produces a label called Dutch Bill Creek, which uses fruit from the Heintz vineyard as well as purchased fruit from other nearby growers. When we tasted the 2007 Dutch Bill Creek Chardonnay, we were absolutely blown away, and figured it for an excellent $40-$50 Chardonnay. When we found out the actual price ($25 retail) and that we at WineHeist would be able to offer it for under $20, we jumped at the chance to secure as much of it as we could.
The 2007 Dutch Bill Creek Chardonnay, from Heintz and other Russian River Valley vineyards is bright gold in color. The nose shows a beguiling mixture of berry and citrus fruit, along with graphite and white truffle notes. The palate is juicy without being over-ripe, with citrus, lime, melon and earthy mushroom flavors, coating the palate without being heavy. Good acidity carries this lithe, intriguing wine through on the long, pleasing finish. This is perhaps not the Chardonnay for fans of over the top, oaky toasty California Chardonnay, but for fans of riper White Burgundy or California Chardonnay that shows a little restraint. This is a sure winner, and at just $17.50 this may represent one of the best deals you are ever going to see. Chardonnay fans: do not miss this one!
Appellation: Russian River Valley (Heintz Ranch, Searby & Boriolo Vineyards)
Production: Bottled 9/6/08 - 642 cases
Alcohol: 14.2% alcohol
Heintz Ranch has been owned by the Heintz family for nearly 100 years. Charlies’ grandparents purchased the land in 1912. Over the many decades they grew many crops. In the first years it was chickens, berries, cherries apples and other vegetables.
The Heintz family grew to nine children, which became the labor force. In the early 1900’s the Heintz family planted a few acres of vineyard. Zinfandel grew well here. At Prohibition, the grape vines were removed and replaced with apple orchards. Apples stayed in production here until the Chardonnay vineyard was planted in 1982.
Charlie began farming Heintz Ranch in 1984. He continually strives to learn new techniques, keeping up with the latest tools and innovations.
Their first label became known as “Dutch Bill Creek” in recognition of one of the early settlers of the town of Occidental, CA named William “Dutch Bill” Howard and the creek that was later named after him. The train on our label is representative of the train that used to pass through the center of town.
The ultra-premium label is “Heintz.” These small-production wines are made from 100% Heintz Ranch fruit.
Because the wines are produced in small quantities, they receive the utmost care and attention, which is reflected in the taste, color and aroma of our wines. Charlie painstakingly manages all aspects of farming the 55 acres of vineyard including operations and personally overseeing the winemaking process of our Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and Syrah.
In addition to producing their own wine each year, the remaining Heintz Ranch fruit goes to a few select, high-end wineries in Sonoma and Napa tha include: Littorai, Freeman, and Williams-Selyem. Charlie prides himself on working closely with each winemaker to deliver quality fruit, consistently, each and every year.
More at www.heintzvineyards.com.