Aromas of ripe apricots, honeysuckle and lemon blossoms reveal themselves in each swirl. The smooth, silky texture surrounds multifaceted flavors of ripe peaches, lemon meringue and autumnal pears, which are enlivened by both balanced acidity and the minerality characteristic of the vineyard. The finish of this deeply golden wine lingers with finesse and elegance, as the flavors repeat themselves through the palate. This well-integrated and finely-structured Chardonnay from this very small vintage will continue to evolve for many years.
SF CHRONICLE: TOP 100 WINES OF 2008
Lester and Linda Schwartz's latest release hails from their estate parcel, just about a mile from the Pacific coast at more than 1,000 feet elevation. From a cool, difficult vintage on the coast, this takes a more fleet-footed approach. A slight waxiness and lush, mineral-backed texture help underscore apple, grapefruit, honeycomb and richer, nutty undertones. DECEMBER 7, 2008
SF CHRONICLE: TOP 15 SONOMA CHARDONNAYS
Lester and Linda Schwartz's latest release has aimed for a French-style wine. There's a slight waxiness and lush texture that is backed by minerality. Bright aromas and flavors of apple, melon, honeycomb and grapefruit are surrounded by buttery, nutty undertones. A rather rich, buoyant and balanced finish. JANUARY 11, 2008
2005 Chardonnay Fort Ross Vineyard Tech Sheet
Aromas of ripe apricots, honeysuckle and lemon blossoms reveal themselves in each swirl. THe smooth, silky texture surrounds multifaceted flavors or ripe peaches, lemon meringue and autumnal pears, which are enlivened by both balanced acidity and the minerality characteristic of the vineyard. The finish of this deeply golden wine lingers with finesse and elegance, as the flavors repeat themselves through the palate. This well-integrated and finely-structured Chardonnay from this very small vintage will continue to evolve for many years.
The grapes for this Reserve Chardonnay were handpicked in the cool early morning hours in small five-gallon buckets. The fruit was hand sorted in the vineyard and then whole cluster pressed at the winery. After pressing, the wine underwent primary and malolactic fermentation in a combination of 30% new and 70% used French oak barrels, the ratio of new to used oak carefully chosen so that the intensely concentrated and luscious fruit would not be masked by too much new oak. We selected the most distinctive barrels of Chardonnay and began the lengthy blending process by assessing if each additional barrel elevated the reserve blend and ultimately we delayed our bottling date as we felt that this blend needed more time in barrel to fulfill its great promise. The wine was racked and bottled without fining or filtration to maintain the natural color, flavor, texture and youthfulness of the wine. The final blend of this Reserve Chardonnay was selected from individual barrels chosen for their fruit concentration, complexity and balance. This wine is comprised of 100% small berried old Wente field selection, which has both grace and rich fruit.
The challenging 2005 Vintage on the Sonoma Coast produced an incredibly small yield but made wines of outstanding intensity. During an unusually warm February the buds swelled and produced leaves only to be subjected to harsh cold and rain. As we had not yet gone through bloom during this wintry weather, the early indications were for a bountiful crop within the norms of our very low vigor area. In June, just as the vines were in bloom and the berry set looked promising, there was unseasonal rain that stopped many of the berries from developing, dramatically decreasing the crop. Like all the vineyards in the immediate area, our ultimate yield was about half a ton an acre but the wine produced was of exceptional quality, concentrated in flavor and color, thanks to the small clusters and diminutive berries that made it through the extended harvest, beginning in Mid-September and ending in October. This vintage can be summed up as:Quixotic weather small crop = small clusters tiny berries = fabulous wine!