Our 2016 ancillary chardonnay comes from the Sangiacomo green acres vineyard’s “heritage block,” which was planted in 1969 with the Old Wente clone on St. George rootstock. While the entire vineyard benefits from the cooling influence of the Petaluma Gap, the “heritage block” is rooted in an ancient footprint of Copeland Creek, providing alluvial soils with tracks of gravel that prove exceptional for growing premium Chardonnay and allowing us to craft wines with nuanced depth.
Glistening golden blonde hues are matched with aromas of crisp green apple, lemon peach confit and wet stone. The palate has an absolutely charming density of richness and character, yet remaining light on its feet for a California chardonnay. Inviting notes of citrus, crushed pineapple and natural acidity are matched with a spine of sophisticated minerality with just a touch of salinity. The finish is rich, mouth-filling, fresh and fluid. Additionally, the abundant level of natural acidity will help keep the concentration of this wine in balance and shepherd it into an aging curve over 3 – 10 years.
Located 1400 feet above sea level on the western slopes of sonoma mountain, the sun chase vineyard is one of the first to emerge from the daily intrusion of fog in the petaulma gap, allowing it to capture ample sunlight throughout the growing season. This translates into a pure, fruit driven wine that is densely packed, unctuous, and powerfully rich – the trademark of a great Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. Its crimson color is an entry into aromas of dark red cherry, bittersweet chocolate, and graphite. Integrated sweet strawberry jam, plum, barrel spice and hints of lavender flowers meld together to form an opulent and juicy wine. Dark spices lace into a supple and pliant mid-palate, leading to silky yet open knit flowing finish. While this wine is definitely approachable now, a couple years of bottle age will unveil hidden layers and additional complexity.
The 2016 yields were below normal for most pinot noir vineyards in Sonoma due to early bud break break and late rains, and our section of the Sangiacomo Roberts Road vineyard was no different. But what was lacking in quantity was made up in quality, as the wine exudes richness, depth and concentration. Vibrant and crimson hues combine with a voluptuous bouquet of red and dark fruits and nuances of spring flowers. Additionally mulled baking spice and sappy red fruit intermingle with dried rose petals and savory soil notes, flaunting the mineral filled river bed soils for which this vineyard is known. The palate is full bodied with nice density, showcasing an amazing core of pure pinot noir fruit. Framed by gripping tannins, this wine will only become more spectacular over the course of 3 – 6 years.
We produced this wine to bridge the gap between the uniquely ripe Californian style of Pinot Noir and the old world style we adore. Comprised of all 828 clone, it is lighter in color and has a slightly more aromatic profile than the regular Sun Chase wine which congers up thoughts of an old world wine while remaining true to its roots. Notes of summer strawberry fields, pomegranate and forest floor are coupled with an amazingly long and lifted profile while still keeping itself in balance due to the stem inclusion. Naturally it has as bit more grip of tannin and is slightly more racy on the mid palate but this will only allow it to age into an amazingly complex wine over time. Obviously we can’t make a Californian Pinot Noir like the Burgundies we admire but this wine leans more in that direction. Age it for 3-4 years and look for it to gain considerable palate weight and bottle sweetness over time if cellared for 5-8 years.