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Hibou Chardonnay Napa Valley 2021  - First Bottle


93 -
Yellow straw color. Aromas and flavors of lemon cream pie, caramel apple, apple and lemon creme brulee, and buttered croissant with a round, lively, dry medium body and a tingling, appealing, medium-long finish with accents of baked yellow apple pie, lemon, and cream on almond flour brioche with light oak flavor. A round and welcoming Chardonnay with nicely integrated fruit and creamy, spicy oak.

Technical Details

  • WinemakerJason Driscoll
  • CountryUS
  • RegionCalifornia
  • AppellationNapa Valley
  • VineyardMost of the fruit came from Carneros
  • Alcohol14.1%

Hibou Chardonnay Napa Valley 2021

Chardonnay  |  US

51% off retail!

If you’ve snagged some of the Hibou we’ve offered to date – you’re gonna want to make some space for a few of these beauties. We got the chance to take the last of Jason and Hillary’s tiny, 200-case production of glorious 2021 vintage Napa Valley chardonnay… all at an incredible Over 50% off! If you like the balanced richness and purity of pedigreed Napa chardonnay – without the price tag – this 93 POINT beauty is for you!

If you’re new to Hibou (French for “owl”) Jason Driscoll is the owner and winemaker for this small family project alongside his wife, Hillary. He’s a C.I.A.-trained chef who did an internship in Napa Valley and fell in love with wine, and he’s been making minimalist, non-interventionist, rip-roaringly tasty wines ever since. Jason learned the ropes under the rigorous tutelage of folks like Kirk Venge, and David and Katherine DeSante – spending years in the cellars at Hunnicut in Napa (and right next door to Ehren Jordan’s Failla).

This chardonnay is 100% whole-cluster, in 50% new French oak, with plenty of lees stirring in the barrel to build that creamy, delightfully hedonistic richness. But...don’t think of this as an oaky, Cali-chardonnay butter bomb – this is anything but. Fresh, bright, and intense with citrus, and stone fruits, chardonnay’s classic apples and pears, all lifted and augmented by layer upon layer of spice, nuttiness, and pure, unbridled verve! Jason makes this more in a style on par with opulent yet traditional White Burgundy...a good bottle of Puligny Montrachet would stand alongside this naturally.

The wine pours a glorious flaxen gold, with aromas of lemon meringue (with that perfect caramelized, burnt cream and sugar note), then toasted hazelnuts, baked apples, and freshly grated nutmeg. A rich and creamy sensation washes over you from the first sip, with perfectly ripe Bartlett pears, juicy nectarines, and decadently buttery and toasty brioche...but a salty and mineral-driven vein reins this all in to make for one impeccably balanced Napa chardonnay. This will compete with wines two to three times the price, easily, and has enough stuffing to develop nicely over the next 5+ years, too. These Hibou offerings have turned out to be a fantastic new portfolio in the First Bottle arsenal and deserves to be on every wine lover’s radar. 93 points and an incredible 50+% off makes this an easy decision...get a lot!

PAIRING IDEAS: This would be a great fit for chili verde – tender, slow-braised hunks of pork shoulder, cooked in a sauce of tomatillos, roasted poblanos, cilantro, and green chiles. Serve it over rice with some corn tortillas for sopping up all that deliciousness!

About the Producer

Established in the heart of Napa Valley, Hibou Winery and Tilth Winery traces its roots back to Jason Driscoll's initial venture into winemaking at Elsom Cellars in Woodinville, Washington. After honing his culinary skills at the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, a Napa Valley harvest experience ignited his passion for winemaking. Embracing the meticulous and deliberate process of the cellar, Jason, alongside his wife and co-proprietor Hillary Driscoll, dedicated himself wholeheartedly to the craft, collaborating with experienced winemakers and continuously refining his techniques. Over the past decade, Hibou Winery has emerged as a testament to Jason's unwavering commitment to his art. By sourcing grapes from exceptional vineyards and allowing each wine to express its authentic character, Hibou wines embody a unique and unpredictable essence, evolving into their truest selves over time.