2016 M-80, Chardonnay, Sonoma Carneros, Sonoma County
88 PTS, Wine Enthusiast
"A new offering from the producer, this is a classically tropical, honeyed white wine, viscous, thick and oaky, with a touch of butter teasing the palate as it opens in the glass. For fans of full-bodied flavor, this is creamy and buttery in spades." – V. B.
The M-80 firework is extremely loud, explosive and dangerous. The same is true with our M-80 Chardonnay. We select choice Chardonnay grapes from the cool climate of Sonoma County, pick at optimal ripeness and ferment exclusively in French oak and put the wine through 100% Malo-Lactic fermentation. The wine is generous in its vanilla and buttery aromas and flavors which some may describe as extreme, explosive and dangerous.
The color of this Russian River Chardonnay is pale straw and has noticeable viscosity. The aromas are varietal with peach and apricot nectar with a touch of clove and cinnamon. On the palate this wine is very juicy and concentrated with baked spiced apple which then becomes creamy and buttery while referring back to a tropical core of pineapple, guava and passionfruit. The wine finishes very balanced with the vanilla, oak and buttery components present in the entry and mid palate while finishing with ripe tropical fruit flavors some expressing sweet textures.
This grapes for this wine were selected from the Wood ranch off River road in the Russian River Valley. The vines are clone 4, cordon trained and are about 25 years old. We pick the grapes ripe at 23.5-24 Brix and whole cluster press the grapes, cold settle and rack off the gross lees after 2 days. We then fill equal parts of 2, 3 and 4 year old burgundy barrels and barrel ferment in the cold room over 2 weeks. After this primary fermentation has finished it was inoculated for malo-lactic fermentation to 100% conversion and aged Sur Lies for 9 months, which is where the buttery and some of its creaminess comes from.