Sea Slopes Chardonnay is inspired by the majestic Sonoma Coast and the steep rugged ridges perched at the golden edge of the continent. Here, the cool maritime climate produces fruit of exceptional quality and allows us to craft wines of great elegance and purity.
90 Points - Wine Advocate
Fermented in stainless steel and neutral barrels, the 2017 Chardonnay Sea Slopes has a fresh, open nose of Golden Delicious apple, sliced pear, white blossoms and baker’s yeast. Light to medium-bodied, it offers fresh fruit flavors with honeyed accents, juicy acidity and a long flavorful finish.
USA TODAY: Slip into Fall, Delicious. The Sea Slopes Chardonnay from Fort Ross on the Sonoma Coast offers a wealth of flavor and complexity, with delightful fruit character and a silky texture. Its crispness and balance make it a versatile wine selection for fall.
FORBES: Very Good: Aromas of lemon custard, yellow peach and apricot pit. Medium-full, this is a ripe, slightly lush style of Chardonnay with excellent ripeness. Good acidity and delicate yellow spice notes. Enjoy over the next 2-3 years.
Fragrant aromas of zesty lemon with notes of honeysuckle
and white grapefruit are immediately evident, followed by a pleasing mineral
character and a touch of toasted brioche. On the palate, it is fresh and lively
with pronounced citrus tones and hints of white peach and apricot. The silky,
smooth texture that reflects a deft hand in winemaking and the long, seamless
finish completes beautiful Chardonnay.
The 2017 growing season welcomed generous rainfall for the first
several months of the year. After five drought years the soils were hydrated and
our irrigation pond was brimming. A warmer than usual spring brought an
early fruit-set. The summer enjoyed mild to average, 80-85° temperatures,
allowing the grapes to develop ideal complexity and flavors. During the first
week of September, all of California experienced a heat spike, but temperatures
then mellowed during the remainder of harvest, allowing the fruit to be picked
at the ideal time.
The grapes for this Chardonnay were hand-sorted to include only
the finest fruit, which was then gently pressed. Fermentation occurred in the ideal
combination of stainless steel for vibrancy and freshness and French oak barrels
which adds great texture and length to the finish. The wine completed malolactic
fermentation, adding a supple richness. Prior to bottling it was aged on the lees with
occasional gentle stirring culminating in a pure expression of Chardonnay from the
extreme Sonoma Coast.
Winemaker: Jeff Pisoni