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Hartford Family Winery

Owner(s) Dan Hartford, Jennifer Hartford
Web site www.hartfordwines.com
 
Link to this site

Hartford Family Winery produces a range of single-vineyard Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays and old-vine Zinfandels. Pinot Noir is sourced from the Russian River Valley, Green Valley, Sonoma Coast, Carneros and Anderson Valley. Eight Pinot Noirs are produced, with both Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs labeled as Hartford Court. Today, the winery produces up to four Chardonnays, ten Pinot Noirs and six old-vine Zinfandels. The winery has been a consistently fine producer of Pinot Noir, highly lauded in the wine press.

Don and Jenny Hartford bought the property in 1992 and the first crush was in 1994, consisting of two Pinot Noirs and one old-vine Zinfandel. Jenny Jackson is Jess Jackson's daughter and Hartford is part of Jackson Family Farms.

The most recent winemaker was Jeff Mangahas who left in late 2011 to go to Williams Selyem and was replaced by veteran Jeff Stewart, formerly at Buena Vista Carneros. The vineyard manager is Walt Chavoor. The emphasis is on sustainable, organic and biodynamic farming with tight vine spacing, low yields and dry farming. 400 acres are owned. All wines are either estate grown or sourced from longstanding vineyard relationships. Hartford gets to cherry-pick the most expressive blocks in the Jackson family's Sonoma Coast vineyards. Twenty different Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs are produced, totaling an annual production of 14,585 cases. 70% of production is estate grown.

The tasting room at 8075 Martinelli Road, Forestville, is open from 10:00-4:30 daily. The wines may be purchased from the website and some releases are distributed through retail channels. A consistently fine producer of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, highly lauded in the wine press,

Reviewed Wines

2011 Hartford Court Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $N/A. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Very aromatic with scents of cherries, raspberries, cola, spice and biscuit. Rich, full-bodied cherry core with a hint of cola. Very soft, almost mushy on the palate. Good. Reviewed April 13, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 Hartford Court Velvet Sisters Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., 385 cases, $65. Estate vineyard. Name comes from a Boontling story about two sisters who were known for dressing in velvet. · Moderate reddish purple hue in the glass. Unfined and unfiltered. Intoxicating aromas of black cherry, dark raspberry coulis and vanilla oak. Very tasty black cherry core complimented by notes of baking spice and vanilla. Soft on the mid palate and easy to like, with admirable balance and a bright finish. Score: 91. Reviewed May 15, 2014 ARTICLE »

2011 Hartford Court Arrendell Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 235 cases, $90. This iconic vineyard located in a very cool part of the Russian River Valley was planted in 1975. Unfined and unfiltered. · Dark violet color in the glass. Complex aromas and flavors featuring plum, boysenberry, black raspberry, black cherry, tea leaves, tobacco and herbs. Striking fruit intensity and a long, chewy finish with a substantial tannic backbone for aging. This wine has a certain “glow.” Score: 92. Reviewed May 15, 2014 ARTICLE »

2010 Hartford Court Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

3,000 cases. An entry level wine but a solid one. · Very aromatic, displaying scents of fresh berries and sappy cherries. Soft and gentle on the palate with lighter weight flavors of red cherries and berries with a good cut of citrus-driven acidity on the finish. Good (+). Reviewed April 4, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 Hartford Court Russian River Valley Chardonnay

$28. A solid entry level wine sourced from several estate and non-estate vineyards. Many of vineyards are 15 to 20 years old. Inaugural vintage for this bottling. · Very light straw color in the glass. Fresh aromas of green apples and spice. Light on the palate with appealing flavors of baked apple and roasted nuts. An easy drinker and great value. Good. Reviewed April 4, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 Hartford Court Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., $30. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of Bing cherry tart, spice and fennel with some pungency showing up. Moderately rich and deep cherry flavor with hints of cola and spice, wrapped in gentle tannins. An easy user-friendly drinker. Decent (+). Reviewed June 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 Hartford Court MacLean’s Block Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., $60. From a 14-yearold vineyard near Occidental planted in Goldridge soil. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Very fruity nose featuring dark cherry pie glaze. Dense, super ripe fruit profile with notes of raisin and currant. Somewhat brooding and rustic with firm tannins. Decent. Reviewed April 13, 2013 ARTICLE »

2009 Hartford Court Land’s Edge Vineyards Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

15.4% alc., ph 3.59, TA 0.55, 1,637 cases, $45. Unreleased. Primarily from the estate Far Coast Vineyard. Native yeast fermentations. Aged 15 months in 45% new French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Array of dark stone and berry fruits on the nose with nuances of petrichor and forest floor. Full-bodied and rugged with a core of purple fruit compressed by firm tannins which linger on the dry finish. Young and tight. Good. Reviewed April 4, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 Hartford Court Fog Dance Green Valley of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5 alc., pH 3.66, TA 0.56, 350 cases, $60. From an organically farmed estate vineyard planted in Goldridge fine sandy loam with primarily Dijon clones 667 and 777. Aged 15 months in 40% new French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Complex aromatic profile with scents of exotic berries, citrus peel and forest floor. Very different tasting from other wines in the lineup. Dark red and purple fruits are vivid and brightened by perceived heightened acidity (minerality) and caressed by soft tannins. Impressive aromatic intensity and length on the finish. Very good (+). Reviewed April 4, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 Hartford Court Fog Dance Vineyards Green Valley of Russian River Valley Chardonnay

14.6% alc., pH 3.52, TA 0.55, $60. Named for the dance performed by the Pacific fog that drifts through the vineyards and back again to sea each day. Planted in 1998 to Dijon Chardonnay clones 95, 96 and 809. Aged 15 months in 20% new French oak barrels. Inaugural vintage of this bottling. · Light straw color in the glass. Aromas of green apple, pear, lemon curd and petrichor. Flavors of baked pear, lemon, apple and brown butter. Rich, yet refined and crisp. Very good (+). Reviewed April 4, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 Hartford Court Hailey’s Block Green Valley of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

$60. Named after Don and Jennifer Hartford’s daughter Hailey. From a block of Arrendell Vineyard planted to Dijon 114 and 777 clones. · Aromas of red cherries and raspberries, baking spice including allspice and floral garden. Moderately intense dark red fruit flavor accented by spice. Soft tannins and reasonably good length on a finish that has a very soft landing. Good (+). Reviewed April 4, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 Hartford Court Seascape Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.74, TA 0.56, 250 cases, $60. The vineyard is located south of Fort Ross adjacent the well-known Coastlands Vineyard. Dijon clones 777, 114 and 115 with some 2A. Yields are only about 1 ton per acre. Native yeast fermentations. Aged 15 months in 45% new French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Well-spiced black raspberry and black cherry fruit with hints of spice, vanilla and peat. A very soft and elegant wine with gossamer tannins that is irresistible. Very good. Reviewed April 4, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 Hartford Court Sevens Bench Carneros Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.75, TA 0.53, 300 cases, $60. From an estate vineyard near Saintsbury’s Brown Ranch and Shafer’s Red Shoulder Ranch. Primarily Dijon clones 667 and 777. Native and cultured yeast fermentations. Aged 15 months in 60% new French oak barrels. · Moderately deep reddish-purple color in the glass. Deep, darkly fruited nose with complimentary notes of spice and oak. Earthy and tannic, reflecting the heavy clay soils of this vineyard. Rich black cherry and dark red berry flavors with a velvety mouth feel. Good. Reviewed April 4, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 Hartford Court Velvet Sisters Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

$60. The vineyard is located in the deep end of the Anderson Valley and one of the last vineyards to be harvested. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Nicely spiced dark red fruits on the nose. Impressive mid palate intensity and staying power on the finish. Delicious red and blue fruits wrapped in ripe, firm tannins. Laser-like in its focus and purpose. Very good (+). Reviewed April 4, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 Hartford Court Arrendell Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., ph 3.46, TA 0.61, 300 cases, $85. Planted by Dutton in 1975 with Martini heirloom selections. More recently, Dijon clones have been added. Struggles to ripen less than 1 ton per acre by Halloween. The winery’s flagship wine. · Layers of aromatic interest offering scents of black cherries, kirsch, spice and oak. Soft and luscious on the palate with mouth coating flavors of black raspberries lingering on a well-endowed, memorable Grand Cru finish. Relatively soft tannins create a sleekness but keep the fruit in line, while a bright cut of acidity adds vibrancy. A very special wine of character. Very good (++). Reviewed April 4, 2012 ARTICLE »

2008 Hartford Court Fog Dance Vineyard Green Valley of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.69, 443 cases, $55. Estate vineyard. Aged 11 months in 50% new French oak. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately deep reddish-purple color in the glass. Lovely aromas of black raspberries, rose petals and oak char. Tasty flavors of berries, black cherries, graham, dark coffee and mocha. Smoothly textured and easy to drink. Too much oak-derived flavors for my taste. Good. Reviewed June 8, 2010 ARTICLE »

2008 Hartford Court Seascape Vineyard Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

14.5% alc. pH 3.59, TA 0.60, 450 cases, $65. A 6-acre site west of the town of Occidental planted in the late 1980s. The vineyard borders the well-known Coastlands Vineyard. Extremely cold site that is often harvested in November. Aged 15 months in 50% new French oak barrels. Unfined, unfiltered. · Medium straw color in the glass. Striking minerality, even salinity on the nose. Citrus-driven flavor, crisp and clean with a slightly viscous mouth feel. Very good (+). Reviewed April 4, 2012 ARTICLE »

2007 Hartford Court Arrendell Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc.. · Deep, dark reddishpurple color in the glass. Love the nose and keep going back. Vivid and penetrating dark Pinot fruits with a little oak riff. Luscious plum and deep berry fruit with a slight sweetness. Flavors of oak, tar and smoke add interest. Smooth in the mouth with a slight watered-down tone on the finish which leaves a little heat in its wake. Good. Reviewed April 8, 2010 ARTICLE »

2005 Hartford Court Land’s Edge Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $30. Primarily sourced from Annapolis Vineyard with several other coastal vineyards. · Unusual aromas of BBQ smoke, green olive along with strawberry and cherry notes. The smoke continues through on the palate highlighting the darktoned fruits. The tannins are gossamer creating a silky feel in the mouth. The flavors trump the nose. Reviewed April 7, 2008 ARTICLE »

2005 Hartford Court Land’s Edge Vineyards Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $35, This Pinot Noir is sourced from the estate Land’s Edge Vineyard near Annapolis in the true Sonoma Coast. The grapes here are picked in miniscule levels often as late as November. The wine is aged for 11 months in 50% new French oak. The clones are 115, 667 and 777. · Nothing really stands out with this Pinot Noir but it is perfectly fine. There is plenty of toast, cherry and wild flowers in the nose. As it opens with air time, it gets better and better with more structure, Attractive tangy red cherry flavors with dark caramel develop that persist on the back end. The mouth feel is rich and the tannins perfectly assimilated. Reviewed January 29, 2007 ARTICLE »

2005 Hartford Family Winery Land’s Edge Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

$45. · This wine is from an estate vineyard in Annapolis along the true Sonoma Coast, often harvested as late as November. The nose is replete with crushed cherries and toast. Tangy red cherry flavors with a little dark caramel note last forever. Perfectly fine. Reviewed July 30, 2007 ARTICLE »

1997 Hartford Court Marin County Pinot Noir

13.5% alc. · A very elegant and mellow wine with an appealing velvety texture. A good argument against the adage that California Pinots can’t age. Reviewed November 26, 2006 ARTICLE »