Robert Parker 94
"The 2007 Chardonnay Durell Vineyard reveals a honeyed, flinty character with lots of citrus, pit fruits, and a striking minerality. With a vivid fruit character, full-bodied power, and terrific freshness, texture, and length, it should evolve for 7-8+ years. All of these Chardonnays see about 60% new French oak.
Bill Hunter is a bigger-than-life guy working out of a low-tech warehouse producing hand-crafted, small lot wines in a French style. Production appears to have leveled off between 2,500 and 2,800 cases of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Virtually all of his vineyards are on the western fringes of the Russian River Valley where it segues into the Sonoma Coast appellation. Hunter calls it the West County triangle area, between Sebastopol, Freestone, and Occidental. Hunter’s winemaking philosophy demands the gentlest handling possible, with the wines moved by either Argon gas (the non-bruising neutral gas) or gravity, fermented in tiny lots, and bottled in most cases without any fining or filtration. Chasseur is definitely a reference point for consumers looking for the highest quality Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs from northern California. These are all very impressive wines that merit serious attention. Moreover, their prices are reasonable for the quality level. Chasseur’s Pinot Noirs are fermented in tiny, one-ton fermenters with some whole clusters (stems) used."
" This is a truly complete Chardonnay, possessed of enormous richness, fine varietal definition and the terroir characteristics associated with its famous vineyard. The nose brings forth plush peach, apple skin, baked apple, vanilla cream and toasted coconut scents, in fine harmony. Things are deeper still on the palate, which feels drenched in mouth-coating spiced-apple pie, peach tart, toasted nut, coconut and crème brulee flavors that are balanced both by chiseled mineral notes and brisk fruit acidity. At the end, the flavor seems almost panoramic, and everything lingers beautifully. It should get still better over the next few years. " ~ Winery notes