Press & Reviews


Amici Chardonnay Sonoma Coast

2020

93

James Suckling

Mineral, praline, stone, yogurt and cooked-apple aromas follow through to a full body with bright acidity. Creamy texture. Drink or hold.

2019

2019

Jeb Dunnuck

There are around 3,000 cases of the 2019 Chardonnay Sonoma Coast, and it’s a smoking value. Coming from Sangiacomo and Valdez vineyards and 90% barrel fermented, it has beautiful caramelized citrus fruit, notes of white flowers and spicy oak, medium body, good acidity, and a great finish. I don’t think it’s going to make old bones, but it more than delivers at the price.

92

James Suckling

Aromas of spiced pear, cooked apple, baking spices and hints of jasmine. It’s medium-to full-bodied with bright acidity and a tight, phenolic texture. Refined and focused with a lightly toasted finish. Drink or hold.

2018

92

Jeb Dunnuck

Moving to the four Chardonnays I was able to taste, the 2018 Chardonnay Sonoma Coast reveals a light gold color as well as a classy nose of baked apples, white flowers, honeysuckle, and toast. It’s clean, classy, and medium-bodied, with a great finish. Drink bottles over the coming 2-4 years.

90

Wine Advocate

The 2018 Chardonnay Sonoma Coast offers lovely butterscotch and dried apricots notes leading to wafts of poached pears and allspice. Medium-bodied, the palate delivers loads of verve and intensity, finishing on a lingering spicy note.

90

James Suckling

Cooked-apple, yogurt and light coconut aromas follow through to the full body with layers of fruit and flavor. A little obvious, but delicious for a more upfront style. Drink now.

2017

92

James Suckling

Sliced apples, pears and lightly toasted oak on the nose and palate. Full-bodied, layered and juicy. Lovely, delicious finish. Drink now.

Amici Chardonnay Charles Heintz Vineyard

2019

94

Jeb Dunnuck

The 2019 Chardonnay Charles Heintz Vineyard comes from a great vineyard within site of the Pacific Ocean. It has a touch of botrytis in its honeyed lemon, melon, and floral aromatics and is medium to full-bodied, sweetly fruited, and balanced on the palate. A singular, unique expression of Chardonnay, it brings plenty of fruit while staying vibrant and bright on the palate. Coming all from 30+-year-old clone 4 Chardonnay vines with full malolactic fermentation and 13 months in 40% new French oak, it should keep for 7-8 years.

94

James Suckling

Intense nose of spiced apple, grilled pineapple, papaya, lime curd, jasmine and toasted hazelnut. Salted caramel, too. It’s full-bodied with bright acidity and a buttery, layered and silky palate. Excellent concentration and complexity. Vibrant. Drink or hold.

2018

95

Wine Advocate

The 2018 Chardonnay Charlie Heintz Vineyard comes from more than 30-year-old Clone 4 vines. It was 100% barrel fermented and went through full malolactic. It was aged 13 months in 55% new Francois Freres, Louie Latour and Taransaud barrels. It needs a little coaxing to reveal beautiful lime cordial, lemongrass, honeycomb and fresh pineapple scents with touches of pie crust, peach blossoms and nutmeg. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is explosive, featuring a mélange of tropical fruits and loads of savory sparks, finishing long and perfumed.

94

International Wine Report

Showing lemon curd, mandarin, and hints of vanilla cream and spice on the nose, the palate is dense, crisp, seamless and beautifully delineated. Exhilarating, long finish with rich, unctuous fruit extract. Outstanding winemaking. Sourced from 30-year- old UCD 4 selection, barrel fermented with full malo, and aged 11 months in 55% new French oak. 13.5% alc.

93

Vinous

The 2018 Chardonnay Charles Heintz Vineyard shows all of the oily, viscous notes that are so typical of Chardonnay from this site. Passion fruit, lemon confit, mint, and orange peel all grace this soft, supple Chardonnay from Amici. The Heintz Chardonnay is such an intriguing wine.

93

James Suckling

A more linear Russian River chardonnay with lemon-curd, cooked-apple and vanilla character. Full-bodied, focused and reserved now. Background of energetic acidity. Try after 2021, but already so attractive.

92-94

Jeb Dunnuck

Scheduled to be bottled just after this tasting, the 2018 Chardonnay Charles Heintz Vineyard is certainly an outstanding wine and comes all from the Clone 4 of Chardonnay and 30+-year-old vines. It will have spent 11 months in 55% new oak. Offering lots of crushed rock and salty mineral notes interwoven with plenty of spice, citrus, and orchard fruits, it hits the palate with medium-bodied richness, a balanced texture, good acidity, and a clean finish. It’s a classic, balanced Russian River release that has both richness and freshness.

2017

94

Wine Advocate

The 2017 Chardonnay Charlie Heintz Vineyard (already bottled) is 100% barrel fermented and aged in 40% new French oak for 13 months. It offers a nose of very pretty white peaches, lemon curd, grapefruit and ginger with touches of baking bread and lime blossoms. The palate is medium-bodied, very tightly wound, crisp and minerally, finishing long and layered. 190 cases produced.

94

Jeb Dunnuck

Another stunner is the 2017 Chardonnay Charles Heintz Vineyard. This Russian River Valley release is reminiscent of a top Montrachet with its beautiful, toasty, powerful bouquet of crushed citrus, lemon oil, toasted nuts, and salty minerality. These all show on the palate as well, and it has a crystalline, precise style that still carries incredible richness and depth. It’s actually going to benefit from a year in bottle and I suspect evolve for over a decade.

2016

96

Jeb Dunnuck

The gem in the lineup is the 2016 Chardonnay Charlie Heintz Vineyard, which comes from a well-known site in the Russian River Valley out near Occidental. Straight-up rocking notes of white flowers, candied ginger, lemon, and citrus all flow to a racy, pure, elegant Chardonnay that does everything right. With good concentration, high acidity, and a great finish, this balanced beauty can be drunk today or cellared for 7-8 years.

94

James Suckling

This is a really pretty white with seashell and oyster-shell undertones to the sliced apple and lemon character. Full-bodied, bright and lively. A lovely combination of fruit and acidity. Drink now.

91

Wine Advocate

The 2016 Chardonnay Charlie Heintz Vineyard comes from vines over 30 years old. It’s 100% barrel fermented and aged in 40% new French oak for 13 months. It gives a lovely nose of lemon meringue pie, warm apricots, pink grapefruit and popcorn with touches of almond croissant and beeswax. The palate is medium to full-bodied with fantastic freshness giving zing to the robust honeyed-apricot flavors, finishing wonderfully savory. 190 cases produced.

2015

95

Jeb Dunnuck

Sporting a light gold color that has a hint of green, the 2015 Chardonnay Charles Heintz Vineyard is a total blockbuster and is certainly up with the finest whites in this report. Citrus oil, tangerine, Meyer lemon and hints of toasted nuts all emerge from this fresh, vibrant, racy, yet beautifully concentrated Chardonnay that’s going to knock your socks off over the coming 5-7 years.

94

James Suckling

Dust, preserved lemons, apple pastry, cloves and praline notes. Medium to full body with lots of bright, tangy stone fruit that really lingers on the palate, which is framed by driven acidity and culminates in a structured finish. Drink in 2019 when the toasted oak settles.

91

Wine Advocate

The 2015 Chardonnay Charlie Heinz is redolent of ripe apricots, green mango and spiced pears with hints buttered popcorn, brioche and honey. Medium-bodied, spicy and refreshing in the mouth, it has a lovely silkiness to the texture and great length.

2013

93

James Suckling

Aromas of dried fruit and toasted nuts. Touch of toffee. Full to medium body, bright acidity and a tangy, bright finish. Pretty rich yet agile and bright. Drink now.

2012

88

Wine Spectator

Well-focused on a taut, trim core of citrus, green pear, apple and tangy nectarine flavors, firming midpalate and showing a pithy edge on the finish. Drink now. 170 cases made.
–JL

Amici Chardonnay El Diablo Vineyard

2019

97

Jeb Dunnuck

Slightly more structured, with medium to full-bodied aromas and flavors, the 2019 Chardonnay El Diablo Vineyard is stunning wine in the vintage that readers should snatch up. Lemon curd, citrus, wood smoke, and charcoal notes all give way to a perfectly balanced, seamless, concentrated 2019 that’s up with the crème de la crème of the vintage. All Hyde Wente clone and fermented and aged in 45% new French oak, drink this thriller over the coming 5-7 years. Unfortunately, there are a scant 900 bottles.

93

James Suckling

Complex nose of toast, salted butter, dried pineapple, dried mango, apricot, lemon zest and clove. Full-bodied with bright acidity and a phenolic texture. Excellent tension and focus. Drink or hold.

2018

95

Jeb Dunnuck

From a site in the Russian Rover, the 2018 Chardonnay El Diablo Vineyard is another impeccably made Chardonnay from this team that readers should seek out. Displaying a medium gold color as well as classic notes of buttered peach, caramelized citrus, toasted bread, and lemon oil, it hits the palate with full-bodied richness, a rounded, sweetly fruited, sexy mouthfeel, and a great finish. This is one of those Chardonnays that marries richness and freshness beautifully. Enjoy bottles over the coming 4-6 years.

94

Wine Advocate

The El Diablo vineyard, at 900 feet of elevation, is planted to Hyde and Wente clone and is farmed by the Ulises Valdez family. The 2018 Chardonnay El Diablo Vineyard was 100% barrel fermented and went through full malolactic. It aged 11 months in 40% new Francois Freres barrels. It slowly unfurls to reveal gorgeous honey-drizzled white peaches, lemon meringue pie, mandarin peel and coriander seed scents with wafts of brioche and marzipan. Medium to full-bodied, the palate reveals a sultry oiliness to the texture with layers of citrus and stone fruits and a long, hedonic finish

94

International Wine Report

The El Diablo Chardonnay reveals a tropical character of ripe citrus with notes of lightly toasted nuts. It has a creamy, round mouthfeel with juicy acidity, nicely integrated oak, and a persistent finish. The texture of this wine is terrific. Barrel fermented with full malo and matured 11 months in 40% new François Freres oak barrels. 14.5% alc.

93

James Suckling

This is really tight and structured with layers of candied lemons, cooked apples and light vanilla cream. It’s full-bodied, reserved and focused. Nice tannin tension to it as well. Bright acidity gives it energy. Drink or hold.

92

Vinous

The 2018 Chardonnay El Diablo is an attractive wine to drink now and over the next handful of years. Lemon confit, orange peel, mint, almond and tropical notes all grace this pretty, mid-weight Chardonnay with good depth that emerges with a bit of time in the glass. This is very nicely done.

94-96

Jeb Dunnuck

The Russian River 2018 Chardonnay El Diablo Vineyard was also fermented in barrel and spent 11 months in 45% new French oak. More orchard fruits, lemon oil, and exotic flower notes emerge from the glass, and it’s full-bodied, ripe, and incredibly sexy on the palate. Despite loads of fruit and texture, it stays crisp and clean on the finish. Drink it over the coming 4-6 years.

Amici Chardonnay Flora Marie Vineyard

2019

94

Jeb Dunnuck

From a site just beside the El Diablo Vineyard (both in the Russian River Valley), the 2019 Chardonnay Flora Marie Vineyard comes from young Montrachet clones. It’s a fresher, more focused, elegant Chardonnay offering bright citrus and grapefruit notes as well as subtle floral and chalky mineral notes. Medium to full-bodied, vibrant, and nicely focused on the palate, it will evolve for a decade.

95

James Suckling

A buttery, layered and flavorful chardonnay with aromas of peaches, spiced pears, smoked almonds, salted butter and buttercups. Fleshy and concentrated with broad layers of spice and ripe stone fruit, balanced by bright acidity. Delicious. Drink or hold.

2018

95

Wine Advocate

Located at 900 feet in elevation, the Flora Marie vineyard is planted to the Montrachet Clone and is farmed by the Ulises Valdez family. The 2018 Chardonnay Flora Marie Vineyard was 100% barrel fermented and went through full malolactic. It aged 11 months in 55% new Francois Freres and Taransaud barrels. It has a provocative nose of cashews, preserved ginger and allspice over a core of warm apricots, green mango and spiced pears plus a touch of beeswax. Full-bodied, rich and seductive in the mouth, it has an opulent creamy texture and seamless freshness, finishing very long and spicy.

94

James Suckling

A solid, exciting chardonnay with ripe apples and lots of toffee, toasted-oak and praline character. It’s full-bodied with layers of fruit and lots of oak treatment. Serious. Drink or hold.

93

International Wine Report

Showing a lovely fruit forward nose of pear, lemon curd and tangerine, this is a wonderfully expressive, integrated and deeply flavored wine. Refined and rich with a persistent finish. Barrel fermented with full malo and aged 11 months in 55% new French oak. 14.5% alc

93

Jeb Dunnuck

Lastly, the 2018 Chardonnay Flora Marie Vineyard has a slightly fresher, livelier style that carries pretty aromas of tart pineapple and peach intermixed with spring flowers and a touch of mint. It’s medium-bodied and has a lively, elegant, balanced mouthfeel, well-integrated acidity, and a great finish. It should evolve nicely for 4-6 years and is well worth seeking out.

90

Vinous

The 2018 Chardonnay Flora Marie Vineyard is laced with hints of white flowers, mint, jasmine, orchard fruit and lemon peel. High-toned and vibrant with bright acids, the 2018 is a very pretty and expressive wine. This is another elegant, understated wine from Amici, especially for a wine made from second-leaf fruit.

93-95

Jeb Dunnuck

A relatively new site for this team, the 2018 Chardonnay Flora Marie Vineyard comes from the Russian River Valley and the Montrachet clone of Chardonnay. It was fermented in barrel and will see 11 months in 55% new French oak. This is another beautiful wine with lots of salinity and minerality as well as medium to full body, bright yet integrated acidity, plenty of peach and pineapple fruit, and a great finish. It’s a balanced, classic Russian River Chardonnay in the making.

94

Wine Enthusiast

Amici Chardonnay Hyde Vineyard

2019

95

Jeb Dunnuck

All Wente clone, the 2019 Chardonnay Hyde Vineyard is another brilliant wine from Jesse Fox and Tony Biagi. First made in 2017 and from a site in Carneros, it saw full malolactic fermentation and 11 months in 40% new François Frères barrels. Classic California notes of lemon curd, caramelized citrus, flower oil, and honeysuckle all define the nose, and it’s medium to full-bodied, with a great texture and balancing acidity. It’s beautifully done and ideal for drinking over the coming 4-6 years.

94

James Suckling

Pretty nose of hawthorn, praline, dried apple, white peach, lemon pith and cedar. Full-bodied with fresh acidity. Creamy and elegant. Smoked almonds and crushed stones on the mineral finish. Long and oily at the end. Drink or hold.

2018

95

Jeb Dunnuck

Next up, the 2018 Chardonnay Hyde Vineyard ratchets everything up, offering a Chassagne Montrachet-like bouquet of white flowers, stone fruits, crushed stone, green almond, and lemon curd. Beautiful on the palate as well, it’s medium to full-bodied and has a flawlessly balanced texture, nicely integrated acidity, and a great, great finish. This is one seriously good Chardonnay from Carneros that’s ideal for enjoying over the coming 5-7 years.

95

International Wine Report

The Amici Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay is an elegant, delicate wine that shows Hyde at its best. The perfumed nose shows white stone fruit, orange blossoms, and white almonds. The palate is creamy with hints of honeycomb and stone fruit accented by citrus acidity. Refined, graceful, and superbly balanced! Barrel fermented, full malo, 11 months in François Freres barrels, 50% new. 14.5% alc.

94+

Wine Advocate

The 2018 Chardonnay Hyde Vineyard comes from more than 30-year-old vines planted to Hyde and Old Wente clone. It was 100% barrel fermented and saw full malolactic, with 11 months aging in 50% new Francois Freres barrels. It sashays out of the glass with beautiful lemon curd, apple pie, key lime pie and orange blossoms scents with hints of shaved almonds and fresh ginger. Medium-bodied, the elegantly weighted palate packs an intense punch of apple and citrus layers, framed by racy acidity and finishing long and savory. Yum!

94

Jeb Dunnuck

There were four 2018 Chardonnays. The only one tasted out of bottle, the 2018 Chardonnay Hyde Vineyard is a winner, offering a big, rich, powerful style that carries loads of pineapple, lemon, and flower oil notes to go with medium to full-bodied richness and depth on the palate. It’s a layered, textured 2018 that shows the purity and balance of the vintage. This cuvée comes from a site in Carneros, which is in the cooler, southern part of Napa Valley, and was fermented and aged 11 months in 50% new French oak.

93

James Suckling

A very typical Carneros chardonnay with cooked apples, creme brulee, praline and light yogurt. It’s full-bodied, layered and rich. Creamy texture. Drink now.

92

Vinous

The 2018 Chardonnay Hyde Vineyard is delicate, perfumed and very pretty. Lemon confit, almond, white flowers, mint and light tropical overtones all run through this decidedly understated, laid-back Hyde Chardonnay.

93

Wine Enthusiast

2017

95

James Suckling

Fresh and vivid acidity contrasts the exotic and beautiful fruit character, such as honeycomb and cooked apples. Lemon rind, too. Full-bodied, flavorful and delicious. Drink now.

94+

Wine Advocate

The 2017 Chardonnay Hyde Vineyard (already bottled) comes from Hyde and Old Wente clones more than 30 years old, 100% barrel fermented and aged in 40% new French oak for 13 months. It gives up fragrant peach blossoms and honeysuckle scents with grapefruit, melon and pineapple at the core and a waft of chalk dust. The palate is medium to full-bodied, rich, satiny and seductive with a toasty undercurrent and long, chalky finish. 190 cases produced.

94

Jeb Dunnuck

Coming from a great site in Carneros, the 2017 Chardonnay Hyde Vineyard has more richness and depth, with killer notes of lemon curd, flower oil, pineapple, and white peach. It’s a fruit-driven, textured, yet still lively, fresh, and beautifully balanced Chardonnay that does everything right. It should keep for at least 4-5 years.

88

Wine Spectator

Tropical fruit flavors of roasted pineapple and mango emerge in this well-spiced version. Buttery notes show on the finish. Drink now through 2022. 190 cases made.