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.
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.
2019 was a very curious year. Early in the season Fort Ross Vineyard received a light sprinkling of snow, followed by some frost - which is most surprising at the altitude of the vineyard [1,200 ft – 1,700 ft]; and our location, less than a mile from the Pacific Ocean.We waited to see what kind of crop would develop and are pleased to announce that buds popped out and we even dropped some fruit. Later in the season we had a brief heat wave, which helped with ripening. As we pick at night, we still had cool grapes to start winemaking.Then just as harvest was ending, we experienced howling 60 mile an hour winds that blew open locked doors.The 2019 modest crop on the Sonoma Coast has produced wines with a luscious mouthfeel, bright acid profile and satisfying balance.
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