It always interesting when you taste to wines from the same year from the same winemaker and they are remarkably different.

That’s what I found when I tasted the 2009 William Hill Napa Valley Bench Blend Chardonnay. Striking differences from the 09 Napa Valley Chardonnay.  This Chardonnay was much lighter in structure but tighter wound.  It needed to open up and relax some.

The grapes used in the wine were hand harvested and pressed as whole clusters.  Grape solids were left in the fermenting juice to add complexity and style to the wine.  The wine underwent malolactic fermentation in barrel which enriched the mouth feel and added complexity to the finished product..  The Chardonnay was 100% barrel aged in 55% new French oak.  The wine was bottle aged 6 months prior to its release.

The wine had some nice aromas of peach, tropical fruit and finishing with melon.  The palate was soft and lush with hints of stone fruit and some nice notes of tasted oak and vanilla.

The wine retails for $35.