2015 Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast
This combines grapes from the Martinelli family’s Charles Ranch Vineyard in Fort Ross-Seaview with grapes from Platt Vineyard, a site long sourced by Ramey overlooking the Pacific Ocean near Freestone—the producer’s coolest site. It melds exotic ginger with apple skin, melon rind and bright focused acidity that remains fresh, succulent and lingering.– 95 pts | Editors’ Choice | Virginie Boone | Wine Enthusiast
Winter 2015 was the warmest on record, resulting in early budbreak. Cooler, wetter weather in spring months slowed development, however, leading to a challenging, extended bloom period. The resulting uneven fruit set translated to a small crop and smaller berries with very concentrated flavors. Weather throughout the summer growing season was consistently warm, bringing on a very early harvest.
We press the fruit whole cluster for delicacy. Native-yeast and full native malolactic fermentation take place in barrel, with sur lies bâtonnage. After aging 12 months in 17% new French oak barrels (François Frères and Taransaud Burgundy), the Chardonnay was traditionally fined for clarity and texture during the following harvest, and bottled without filtration in January, 2017.
Coming from these two special vineyard sites, our Sonoma Coast Chardonnays show great depth of flavor, length of finish, aromatic complexity, and a fine balance between richness and delicacy. These two vineyards have typically cool climates, low vigor soil, and a vine selection that generate small berries, small clusters and inherently low yields.