Wine Of The Week: Bouchaine Hyde Vineyards Chardonnay

A Napa Valley Chardonnay that expertly evokes a fine French Burgundy.

Bouchaine Vineyards Hyde Chardonnay (Credit: Kate Dingwall)

While many Napa Valley Chardonnays are highly extracted and heavily buttered, Bouchaine Vineyards is just the opposite. Winemaker Chris Kajani looked at where the vineyard was located — within spitting distance of the San Francisco Bay — and decided a more Burgundian style of Chardonnay would fit the place more precisely. 

Winemaker Chris Kajani in the fields. (Credit: Bob McClenehan)

This specific bottle comes from Hyde vineyards, an old vine vineyard planted in the 1970s by the Hyde family. It’s been meticulously cared for over the past 40-or-so years and that particularity is evident today. To harvest, the Bouchaine winemaking team harvests all the grapes by hand at night and hauls them to the winemaking facility by sunrise.

The wine is barrel fermented in French oak barrels and stirred monthly to add a lovely complexity. Smooth and full-bodied, with driving minerality and a golden apple and almond flour palate, it’s the best of Burgundy, but made on California soil. $70

Kate Dingwall is a SET-trained sommelier and spirits writer. Her work has appeared in Wine Enthusiast, Eater,, and Food & Wine, and she pours wine at one of Canada’s top restaurants.