With 13.3% alcohol, costing under $10 back then, and scoring 16+ points on the 20-point Dionysian Scale, the 35 year-old wine surprised us all. The 1985 Chalk Hill Winery Chardonnay at Healdsburg, Sonoma held up because it had an acid-fruit balance. It slept in a dark cold cellar on its side. Of course it was darkening. Oak and tropical fruits still jumped up to the nose.
The Chalk Hill area is famous for its Chardonnay and this example showed that California can make classic wines when they wanted to do so. As they lessen the oak, lower the alcohol and teach the young drinking public what food wine really is, they will open the eyes of East Coast European wine drinkers.
The wine was smooth and the flavors lingered very long in the mouth . In Vino Veritas.