Golden yellow in the glass, the 2014 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay shows great varietal character on the nose: ripe Gravenstein apples, lemon curd, candied pineapple and key lime lead with supporting notes of butter shortbread baking spice from time in barrel. Rich and mouthfilling, the palette echoes the nose while bright citrus acidity and an underlying minerality keep the wine in balance. The barrel fermentation lends to a creamy, luxurious texture and a hint of sweet baking spices. A long, lingering finish of lime and toasted almond entice you to take another sip.
This bottling is dedicated to my mother Ann Davis, who passed away in February 2012 from complications with Alzheimer’s.
On the palette, the juicy acidity carries notes of green apple peel, lemon blossom and wet rock. Very focused minerality and bright citrus notes balance the barrel richness and spice.
Medium ruby violet in color, the 2016 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is the first “non draught” vintage after nearly five low precipitation years. The fruit is delightfully plump and juicy, redolent of cranberries, dried cherry, strawberry compote and cola. Smooth, yet firm tannins coat the mouth and bring the fruitfulness into focus. Secondary notes of dried mushroom, wet forest floor and sweet cigar tobacco add fantastic nuance and give a hint of what is to come for those who are patient enough to cellar this bottling another 4-6 years. The finish is long and fresh with an emphasis on sour cherries and sweet vanilla.
The 2016 vintage marked the first time that the region was not in draught conditions since 2011. As such, this vintage carries more bright, high-toned fresh fruit and soft floral notes than previous bottlings. The old vines stay true, regardless of weather conditions, providing aromas of juicy Bing and maraschino cherry, raspberry and strawberry compote. Supporting notes of sweet coffee, dried rose petal and violet add to the complexity. The palate follows the nose, leading the charge with heaps of fruit, subtle minerality and lovely, lingering acidity that draws you to take another sip. The tannins are soft but coating and promise to round out over several years’ aging.