Despite the recent rant about it being so hot to even drink Chardonnay, and the upcoming tirade on Napa's track record, AND the flaws on the 2010 vintage, these two trend buckers are worth talking about.
(Disclaimer and interesting note: These press samples arrived on an afternoon when it was 96 degrees. Damage? Read on.)
2010 William Hill Chardonnay Napa Valley $23
There's no sign of the dilution characteristic typifying a lot of 2010s in this compact, dense Chardonnay. It's got all the things that birthed the ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) movement, but conveyed in a focused, efficient manner. Whats more, it's balanced. A jarring contrast to the light bodied Sauvignon Blancs and Muscadets favored in the summer heat, but damn hard to put down nonetheless.
2008 William Hill Cabernet Napa Valley $32
Um, wow. This beast is generous across all fronts to the point of bordering on clumsy, and though air or time in bottle will even out that gregariousness a bit, its balls-out demeanor is very appealing. Prepare yourself for full volume settings of fruit, oak, tannins, and every flavor along the full-throttle ride. Fantastic.