94pts Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The Lioness represents Hess's biggest, boldest style of Chardonnay. The 2017 Chardonnay The Lioness was aged 18 months in 50% new French oak with lees stirring and was bottled unfiltered. Fruit comes from the Hess Estate in south Napa. It gives up gregarious scents of mangoes, pineapple tart, peach cobbler and acacia honey with nuances of lime blossoms, spice cake and toasted almonds. Big, concentrated and sporting tons of exotic fruit and savory/nutty layers, the creamy texture is beautifully offset by a wicked backbone of freshness and a fantastically long finish. Yum! Only 1,500 cases were made.
The Lioness is dynamic and beautifully balanced with a lush texture and layered flavors. Delicious notes of crème brûlée and vanilla are lifted by a core of bright acidity running throughout. Hints of poached pear are complemented by undertones of well-integrated toasty oak that persist throughout a long satisfying finish.