2017 Chardonnay, Fort Ross – Seaview, Sonoma Coast
2017 began with a very wet winter. The summer was mild until a significant heatwave around Labor Day sent growers scrambling to pick the first wave of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. After the heat wave, temperatures were warm and steady, allowing winemakers to make picking decisions based on optimal fruit maturity rather than impending weather. Fruit quality ranged from great to exceptional, with well-preserved acids and no sunburn at Charles Ranch.
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 32% new French oak barrels (François Frères and Taransaud Beaune), Chardonnay was traditionally fined for clarity and texture during the following harvest, and bottled in February, 2019.
This is the second vintage to come exclusively from the Martinelli Charles Ranch, two miles in from the Pacific. Coming entirely from this vineyard site, our Sonoma Coast Chardonnay shows great depth of flavor, length of finish, aromatic complexity, and a fine balance between richness and delicacy. This vineyard has a typically cool climate, low vigor soil, and a vine selection that generates small berries, small clusters and inherently low yields