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In its early stages, this wine exhibits intense mineral aromas of pear and apricot immersed in rich spicy notes. The mouth offers layers of stone fruit and floral notes followed by an elegant backbone of acid, carrying the wine to a long finish. Similar to the 2000 Chardonnay, we expect this wine to age beautifully as it builds exponentially from year to year in the bottle. A blend of our oldest blocks, this wine was aged for 11 months in French oak on the lees. The 2005 HdV Chardonnay will be a special wine to cellar. Forty-five percent new French oak has been used for this vintage, bottled without fining or filtration. The 2005 HdV Chardonnay currently favors decanting an hour before serving. It should continue to improve for another six to ten years. "Pale yellow. Wild aromas of lemon thyme, melon, beeswax and talc. Savory rather than sweet, with a saline character and solid underlying minerality to the brisk, dusty flavors of ginger, orange oil, chalk and game. Distinctly pungent, soil-inflected chardonnay that I never would have picked as coming from California. Finishes with good chewy density and excellent subtle length."