Whether we’re shucking Humboldt oysters in January or grilling local rock cod in August, pairing the ocean’s bounty with our mineral-driven Chardonnay is always satisfying on a deep level.
Two of the best values in our stable of Chardonnays are district wines. One made from a few local Russian River Valley vineyards; the other from range of California vineyards throughout Sonoma County.
2019 Estero, Russian River Valley
If you like Chardonnay that smells like crushed up river stones & preserved lemons, that tastes like wild fennel, just-ripe golden apples, & rock salt…we have a wine for you. Estero is “…not your father’s Oldsmobile.” It a Chardonnay for the Chardonnay-doubters. A wine that calls to mind the restrained California wines of a bygone era…like the wines that went to the famous Paris Tasting of 1976. It resembles in many ways the wines that inspired it–the wines from those famous golden slopes in Burgundy. But it is decidedly, unabashedly Californian. “Ripe acidity” is what we are talking about here. The kind you find a late spring Meyer lemon. The aging in used 500L puncheon barrels did nothing but focus the wine’s innate energy. No oakiness, no butter. Just a chiseled, mouthwatering, Russian River white wine.
2020 Sonoma County “SoCo” Chardonnay
The challenges in the 2020 vintage were formidable but not impossible. White grapes which get pressed immediately off the skins, yielded clean wines unaffected by fires and smoke. To be extra cautious, we triaged every load of fruit and employed winemaking protocols honed in the 2008 fire vintage. It was a year of earlier harvest dates, light pressings, and multiple rackings to get juice off solids. The untold story of the 2020 vintage is about the dramatic drought-concentration of the wines. Tiny crop, hot and dry year, tiny clusters, and conservative winemaking protocols that produced very low juice yields…and remarkably powerful wines. This installment of SoCo welcomed a new vineyard source to the mix–Garden Creek in the Alexander Valley–and is sun-kissed and golden delicious. You will see the wine featured in many of the best restaurants in SF, LA, or NYC for $18 per glass. And you can now enjoy some at home for just $25 per bottle.