Hartford Court Wine Tasting at Wine Watch with Special Guest Tom Rozner

Thursday, February 7, 2019 - 07:30 PM

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"My dear girl, there are some things that are just not done, such as drinking Dom Perignon '53 above the temperature of 38° Fahrenheit."
--- James Bond in Ian Fleming's Goldfinger




We have been following Hartford Court Winery since day one and I have attended several tastings with Don Hartford when he was first establishing this brand and I remember he would taste the Hartford Court wines blind against some of Burgundy’s elite producers and many times come out on top! This was a brave move but Don has a very good palate in addition to knowing enough about producing fine wines to know that on any given Sunday anything is possible.  Check out the interview with Don Hartford on WineWatchTV at www.winewatch.com/wine-watch-tv/producer-interviews

We will be getting back to the hard work or reviewing wines and posting the results of our “Once in a Lifetime” tasting this year as we are finished with the big move from Progresso Plaza to our new home at 839 NE 3rd Avenue.  If you have not seen the new store and wine bar you must make a reservation for one of our tastings to check it out.

Join us as we welcome back our good friend Tom Rozner from Hartford Court Winery to South Florida to sample these Most Excellent Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Zinfandels.  We will also be the first to taste our “Wine Drinking People” on the new Syrah!  Toni Lampasone will be making a special menu to accompany the tasting wines and the fee for this event is only $95 + tax.  For reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail andy@winewatch.com


Image result for 2016 Hartford Court Chardonnay Russian River ValleyImage result for 2014 Hartford Lands Edge Pinot Noir Sonoma CoastImage result for 2013 Hartford Syrah Sonoma CoastImage result for 2017 Hartford Zinfandel Russian River Valley

Hartford Court Wine Tasting at Wine Watch with Special Guest Tom Rozner
Thursday, February 7, 2019
7:30 PM

2016 Hartford Court Chardonnay Russian River Valley
Price: $23.25    Your Price: $20.46   

(93 Points) Bright, fresh and nuanced, the 2016 Chardonnay (Russian River) has so much to offer. The Russian River Chardonnay is a distinctly mid-weight wine built on expressive citrus and floral character. It also happens to be the hidden gem in this range. Vinous

2017 Hartford Court Chardonnay Four Hearts Sonoma Coast
Price: $49.50    Your Price: $43.56   

(96 Points) "The 2017 Hartford Court Chardonnay Four Hearts Vineyard has a drop-dead gorgeous floral nose with notes of orange blossoms, honeysuckle and jasmine with a core of preserved lemons, candied ginger, peach cobbler and applesauce.  Medium to full-bodied, it has a racy line of freshness and a wonderfully satiny texture, finishing long and citrusy." -  Lisa Perotti-Brown, Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate, October 2018

2014 Hartford Court Chardonnay Sevens Bench Russian River
Price: $67.50    Your Price: $59.40  

True to its Carneros roots, the 2014 Sevens Bench Chardonnay carries the hallmark of the region – fruit intensity balanced by good acidity. The aromas are driven by classic lemon drop, Meyer lemon and a sweet tangerine character. That fruit style follows in the flavors, with the citrus focus carrying through with candied lemon drop balanced by the nice acidity and mineral characters inherent to the region and the clonal selections. Barrel fermentation characters are in the background, adding more complexity to this elegant wine - Jeff Stewart, Winemaker

2014 Hartford Three Jacks Chardonnay Sonoma Coast
Price: $67.50    Your Price: $59.40  

(92 Points) "The 2014 Three Jacks Vineyard Chardonnay. a relatively small cuvee of about 240 cases, comes from multiple clonal selections, with 43% new French oak used.  The result is a wine with striking wet-stone minerality that is reminiscent of a Grand Cru Chablis, a hint of tangerine oil and apple blossom, beautiful freshness, delineation and a medium to full-bodied, intensely saturated mouthfeel.  This is a beautiful Chardonnay, and, much like the Stone Cote, probably capable of lasting 5-7 years minimum." - Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate, October 2016

2015 Hartford Pinot Noir Russian River Valley
Price: $32.50       Sale $28.60

(90 points) The 2015 Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley) is a lovely appellation wine. Juicy, forward and delicious, the 2015 is everything one could ask for in an appellation level Pinot. Once again, the purity of the flavors is striking. (AG) (3/2017) Vinous

2014 Hartford Lands Edge Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast
Price: $49.50       Sale $37.50  Special Price!!!  25% off the Regular Price

(92 Points) The only 2014 tasted was the early-bottled 2014 Pinot Noir Land’s Edge Vineyards, which come from a vineyard four miles from the Pacific Ocean. Aged in 32% new French oak, the wine displays raspberry and blueberry fruit, damp earth, fresh porcini mushrooms and plenty of minerality. This is a juicy, tightly knit, but concentrated and promising Pinot Noir that has that forward fruit of this vintage well displayed.  Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

2014 Hartford Velvet Sisters Pinot Noir Anderson Valley
Price: $70.50       Sale $62.04

(89-92 points) The 2014 Pinot Noir Velvet Sisters is a little bit more severe and narrow in its overall feel than most of the Hartford Pinots. Dark cherry, plum, menthol, violet and licorice are all nicely delineated in the glass. The tannin and acidity are especially prominent today. It will be interesting to see what happens as the wine finishes its aging and goes into bottle. This is an impressive set of wines from proprietor Don Hartford and winemaker Jeff Stewart. Hartford sources fruit from some of the top sites in Sonoma, and it comes through in the pedigree of these wines. I tasted most of the Chardonnays and Pinots from tank prior to bottling, while all of the Zinfandels were in bottle. Speaking of Zinfandel, once again, I came away from my tasting at Hartford thinking these are the best wines in the range. (AG) (1/2016)  Vinous

2014 Hartford Marin Pinot Noir Marin County
Price: $70.50       Sale $62.04

This Pinot Noir is crafted from A Marin County vineyard north of the Golden Gate.  The wine shows dense blackberry aromas and flavors with a complex savory component.  The acid balance, elegance and refinement of the wine are driven by the cool growing conditions and low yeilding vines.  Only 293 cases produced.

2013 Hartford Syrah Sonoma Coast
Price: $52.50       Sale $46.20

"Black fruits, blonde tobacco and lilac aromas are supported by ripe blueberry and black currant flavors, and tannins that express the wine’s mountaintop sourcing. This dense and spicy Syrah was crafted in a style reminiscent of the great wines of the Northern Rhone Valley." - Jeff Stewart, Winemaker

2015 Hartford Dina’s Vineyard Zinfandel Old Vine Russian River Valley
Price: $60.00       Sale $52.80

(94 points) A real whopper is the 2015 Zinfandel Dina's Vineyard, which comes from vines planted over 100 years ago... There is a touch of Alicante in the blend of Zinfandel. Notes of pen ink, graphite, licorice, creosote, lavender and pepper along with enormous quantities of blackberry and black cherry fruit soar from the glass of this thick, viscous, heavy-duty, pedal-to-the-metal Zinfandel. It is a Mediterranean-tasting wine that could pass for a Southern Rhone from France in a blind tasting. This wine should drink nicely for 8-10 years, if not longer. (RP) (10/2016) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

2017 Hartford Zinfandel Russian River Valley
Price: $37.75       Sale $33.22

The 2017 Hartford Russian River Valley Zinfandel is showing aromas of ripe plum, blackberry, black cherry which are highlighted with hints of white pepper and allspice. Blueberry, red raspberry, nutmeg and mocha flavors lead into a long, bright finish with supple tannins.

Charcuterie Selection
Sea Scallop Carpaccio with Candied Lemon and Ginger chardonnay Mignonette
Five Spice Duck Confit Spring Rolls with Cherry Dipping Sauce
Korean BBQ Pork Ribs with Asian Slaw
Chocolate Covered Bacon with Strawberry Catsup


The fee for this tasting which includes dinner is $95 + tax, for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail andy@winewatch.com




A bit about Hartford Court winery:

Don Hartford grew up on a small strawberry farm in western Massachusetts, and later attended the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. To cover the cost of tuition and expenses, Don worked as a "straw boss" on a cigar wrapper tobacco farm, a de-degreaser in a bicycle factory, and a lifeguard at Congamond Lakes in Massachusetts.

Although his early years were heavily influenced by agriculture, farming was not Don's first choice as a profession. He went to school to study law and after earning a B.A., Don spent a year teaching English as a second language in Spain and later taught Spanish for four years in Massachusetts. In 1982 he graduated from Santa Clara University Law School in northern California. Don's legal career included work at the California Supreme Court, a Tokyo law firm, a large San Francisco-based firm, and Jess Jackson's Constitutional law practice. He also was a partner in a small country law partnership, and served for a time as a winery general counsel and vice president. If it was not for his first career choice he would not have met his wife and he might not have ever gotten into the wine business at all. Don Hartford met his wife, Jennifer Jackson-Hartford, at Santa Clara University in 1979. Shortly thereafter, Jennifer's father, Jess, started a modest 16,000 case winery called Kendall-Jackson.

In the process, Don has returned to one of his first loves-the land and farming. In addition, he owns and farms a small vineyard behind his home. As President and part owner of Hartford Court and Hartford Wineries (with Jennifer and Jennifer's sister, Laura Jackson-Giron), Don works "hands on" at all levels of the business, including work in the vineyards, winery, marketing, hospitality and sales. Don loves the South Florida market and on a recent visit we blind tasted the 1997 & 1998 vintages of the Hartford Court Pinots alongside 1996 grand cru Burgundies. These wines not only held their own, but they came in first, second, and third place on this afternoon.

Hartford Court specializes in single-vineyard Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Some of the wines that they offer are as limited as 50 cases. All of the wines come from cool locations in the Russian River and along the Sonoma Coast, wines that express the terroir of their unique vineyards. Hartford court also makes three single vineyard Zinfandels. Fannucchi, Hartford Vineyard & Highwire. The Fanucchi Vineyard is ninety years old and is located about seven acres on a slight rise off Wood Road in the Russian River Valley, it is dry farmed and has been tended by the Fanucchi family for over twenty years. Hartford Vineyard is Don’s home vineyard, the vines here are approximately eighty years old and it is located on Wood Road as well. The vineyard is head pruned and produces yields at around 1.5 tons per acre. The Highwire Vineyard is about ninety years old and is named after the high wire that is strung between each vine, this trellising method is highly controversial and is thought to permit greater sun exposure and to promote even ripening. These wines all have one thing in common- they are intensely flavored and usually some of the top wines of the vintage.

The Chardonnay vineyard on the Sonoma coast is called Seascape Vineyard. It is a six-acre site on a scenic ridge-top west of Occidental, California, in the Sonoma Coast AVA. The vineyard backs up to an old redwood grove on one side, and looks out over cascading ridges to Bodega Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The well-known Coastlands Vineyard borders the property. Because there is no ridge between the vineyard and the ocean, Seascape is an extremely cold spot - so cold Chardonnay is often picked in November. The vineyard is cropped to about two tons per acre to ensure full ripening. Although the farming risks are high, Seascape offers great reward of yielding a Chardonnay with evidently distinctive terroir. They make a single vineyard Chardonnay with fruit from this vineyard only in exceptional vintages. The production of this wine hovers at around 600 cases. Beginning with the 1998 vintage the winery began to bottle a Chardonnay under the Hartford label and added some Dutton Ranch and Durrel Vineyard fruit to boost the production of this wine to around 5,000 cases. The Seascape Vineyard Chardonnay will still be made, but only in exceptional vintages.


The rest of the Hartford Court Wines in the store:


2016 Hartford Court Chardonnay Four Hearts
Price: $49.50    Your Price: $43.56    Quantity in Stock: 9

(96 Points) Already in bottle, the 2016 Hartford Court Chardonnay Four Hearts Vineyard opens with lemon tart, pink grapefruit, pineapple and ripe apple notes with touches of nutmeg and croissant. Medium to full-bodied, rich and with a pleasantly oily texture, it delivers ripe tropical fruit flavors and a long, creamy finish.  Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

2013 Hartford Court Chardonnay Four Hearts Russian River
Price: $40.50    Your Price: $35.64    Quantity in Stock: 3

(93 points) From the Laguna Ridge sub-region of Russian River, the bottled 2013 Chardonnay Four Hearts Vineyard (1,200 cases made) is fashioned from such older Chardonnay clones as the Wente, Sees and Rued. It displays tremendous acidity, wonderful ripeness, a leaner, and a more premier cru Chablis-like style than the Three Jacks and Stone Cote cuvées. It should drink well for 5-7 years. Part of the Jackson Family empire, Hartford Court is run with incredible enthusiasm and competence by Don Hartford and his winemaker, Jeff Stewart. One of the bright shining stars in California winedom, their Chardonnays are clearly Burgundian, but with sensational purity and ripeness. The Pinot Noirs are among the finest of Northern California, and Hartford Court’s Zinfandels rank alongside such top Zinfandel producers as Turley, Limerick Lane and Carlisle. I tasted six impressive 2013 Chardonnays, which are generally aged for 15 months in 100% French oak, with a range of 33% to 44% new. Bottling is done without fining or filtration. I tasted seven bottled Pinot Noirs from the sensational 2012 vintage. All of them are aged in 100% French oak, with the percentage of new oak ranging from a low of 25% to a high of 40%. Most of these wines spend 16 months in barrel prior to being bottled. In addition to their enviable portfolio of Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs, Hartford Court is one of the top Zinfandel specialists in California. The five 2013 Zinfandels I tasted were all bottled early to preserve the (12/2014)  Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

2013 Hartford Court Chardonnay Seascape Vineyard
Price: $75.00    Your Price: $66.00    Quantity in Stock: 5

(92 Points) The 2013 Chardonnay Seascape Vineyard is one of the leanest and lightest of these white wines. From a ridge top west of the town of Occidental, facing Bodega Bay and the Pacific Ocean, this wine sees about 43% new oak, and comes across as Chablis-like. Medium-bodied with fresh apple blossom, crisp red currant and quince notes, it is a fresh, lively, cool-climate Chardonnay that, despite its new oak aging, has a naked appeal and flavor profile. Drink now-2022. Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

2011 Hartford Court Chardonnay Stone Cote Vineyard Russian River
Price: $67.50    Your Price: $59.40    Quantity in Stock: 2

This wine is made from a select parcel of the Durell Vineyard and is one of the most intense of all the Chardonnays, the terroir here is uplifted river bed, very mineral driven and very well balanced with lots of nectarine, white peach and lemon drop candy fruit, crème caramel notes very rich. Rich and creamy on the tongue with lots of ripe fruit, tongue tingly minerality and that pretty floral nuance coming through on the finish, long and layered. Finish 45+     Most Excellent  

Pinot Noir

2012 Hartford Court Pinot Noir MacLean's Block
Price: $70.50    Your Price: $62.04    Quantity in Stock: 4

This vineyard is named after Don's son a very masculine style Pinot Noir from a vineyard near Occidental, this area is very remote and the have bear and wild cougars out their and not the type from Orange County.  Tyhis wine has a good amount of black raspberry coulis like fruit, pretty floral notes, this wine has a distinct minerality.      Most Excellent   

2015 Hartford Court Pinot Noir MacLean's Block
Price: $69.00    Your Price: $60.72    Quantity in Stock: 2

(95 points) Medium to deep ruby-purple colored, the 2015 Hartford Court Pinot Noir MacLean's Block delivers wild blueberries, black cherries and anise notes with hints of violets, bay leaves and forest floor. Medium to full-bodied, the palate features red and black fruit layers accented by earth notions and framed with fine-grained tannins, finishing on a mineral note. (LPB) (12/2017) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

2015 Hartford Court Pinot Noir Arrendell Vineyard
Price: $96.75    Your Price: $85.14    Quantity in Stock: 5

(94 points) Pale to medium ruby-purple colored, the 2015 Hartford Court Pinot Noir Arrendell Vineyard has compelling chocolate-covered cherries, raspberry pie and warm mulberries nose with touches of potpourri, Ceylon tea and tobacco leaf. Medium to full-bodied, very finely structured and very fresh, it gives intense black berry and savory layers, finishing on a lingering earthy note. 409 cases produced. 94+ (LPB) (12/2017) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

2014 Hartford Court Pinot Noir Warrior Princess Willamette Valley
Price: $79.00    Your Price: $69.52    Quantity in Stock: 8

The wine has a deep ruby hue with complex aromas of Chinese five spice, sandalwood and dried rose petal; the framework of the wine’s aromatic profile is dark blueberry and blackberry. Focused aromatics are followed by complex flavors of fresh cherry, berry liqueur, violet pastille, allspice, and juniper. Fine grain tannins shape the persistent, spiced finish. Vineyard & Vintage Character The 2014 Warrior Princess Pinot Noir is our first release from the Willamette Valley and is sourced from Oregon’s renowned Zena Crown Vineyard, which is situated near the Oregon ghost town of Zena, in the hills between Eola and Amity, Oregon. Our blocks are planted to several clones, including Pommard, Dijon 667 and 777. The soils are predominantly basalt-based Jory series, which is volcanic in origin, mixed with marine sedimentary rocks and alluvial material. This soil tends to produce wines characterized by high tone blue and black fruits, with earth, allspice and tea components both in aroma and flavor. The wines have a firm tannin structure with density and weight. The wines retain good acidity because of the influence of the Van Duzer corridor, which allows cool a ernoon breezes to reach the Eola-Amity hills from the Pacific Ocean. We are excited to add this new release to our diverse lineup of Designated Vineyard wines. Wine Details Oak: 100% French oak, 32% new Time in oak: 16 months Yeast: Uninoculated Alcohol: 14.6% TA: 5.6 g/L pH: 3.61 Cases produced: 368

2015 Hartford Court Pinot Noir Velvet Sisters Anderson Valley
Price: $70.50    Your Price: $62.04    Quantity in Stock: 4

(96 points) Coming from a site on the northern end of Anderson Valley, the 2015 Pinot Noir Velvet Sisters (from a mix of Dijon clones) was completely destemmed and spent 16 months in just under 30% new French oak. It has a rich, broad, expansive blue-fruited bouquet of spiced plums, blueberries, vanilla, and dried flowers. One of the richer, more full-bodied, opulent and sexy wines in the lineup, it’s ideal for drinking over the coming decade. (6/2018)  Jeb Dunnuck

2013 Hartford Court Pinot Noir Lands Edge Sonoma Coast
Price: $49.50    Your Price: $43.56    Quantity in Stock: 5

92 Points - "The 2013 Pinot Noir Land's Edge Vineyards is soft, open and expressive, all of which suggest it is best enjoyed over the next few years. Dark red cherry, plum, spice and a hint of new oak meld together on the supple finish. The Land's Edge is a blend of fruit from Far Coast and Seascape, and is a great introduction to the house style."  Antonio Galloni, January 2015

2013 Hartford Court Pinot Noir Far Coast Sonoma Coast
Price: $76.50    Your Price: $67.32    Quantity in Stock: 6

True Sonoma Coast wine this is on the edge of the Pacific ocean not many vineyards here very extreme growing conditions. 900-1000 foot elevation with an uplifted seabead soils, sea shells oyster shells and this adds minerality to the wine.   A good amount of dark raspberry and black cherry fruit very concentrated and rich with notes of coffee and Asian spice. Big and chewy black berry fruits with an array of spice that coffee and Asian spiced, coco dust through the finish along with a firm hand of acidity, very big but also has finesse and elegance. Finish 50+     Most Excellent


2011 Hartford Court Zinfandel Fanucchi Wood Road
Price: $59.75    Your Price: $52.58    Quantity in Stock: 1

(92 Points) Elegant, supple and well-structured, with raspberry and spice aromas and appealing cherry, tart blueberry and vanilla flavors, finishing with crisp minerality. Drink now through 2020.  Wine Spectator

2014 Hartford Court Zinfandel Old Vines
Price: $58.50    Your Price: $51.48    Quantity in Stock: 1

(94 Points) The 2014 Zinfandel Russian River (1,500 cases) is full-bodied, offering terrific black raspberry and black cherry fruit and peppery, earthy, meatiness. Very lush, with well-integrated wood, alcohol and acidity, this is a beauty with a sensational texture and length. Drink it over the next 7-8 years. Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

2016 Hartford Winery Zinfandel Russian River Valley
Price: $38.25    Your Price: $33.66    Quantity in Stock: 15

(97 Points)  "The 2016 Hartford Zinfandel Highwire Vineyard has a medium to deep garnet-purple color.  Wow - the nose is a knock-out beauty of black cherry cordial, blueberry compote, fruitcake and liquid licorice with hints of roses, lilacs, Indian spice and garrigue.  Full bodied and beautifully structured with firm, grainy tannins and wonderful freshness, the palate is generously filled with fruit and spice laters, finishing long and perfumed." - Lisa Perotti-Brown, Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate, October 2018

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