2018 Sierra Del Mar Vineyard Chardonnay, Central Coast
Pale gold color with perfumed Chardonnay varietal character with lemon tart, wax, clove and honeycomb. The palate is ripe with green apple and some baked apple flavors as well. On the palate the wine has juicy tangerine flavors with kiwi and passion fruit. Soft creamy lactic acid tones texture the mid palate through to the finish and expose apricot flesh and finish dry with slightly bitter, but juicy apple seed. The grapes for this wine come from cool climate grapes grown throughout Monterey and northern San Luis Obispo County. Mornings are dotted with coastal fog which balance the days with cold mornings. We pick the grapes when very ripe. When fully developed, we pick the grapes in the morning when the vineyard is cool and the grapes are cold. This makes it a little challenging to sort them at 7am on the crush pad, but worth the effort. We go direct to press with the grapes and press right away with minimal skin contact. After all the juice is gently pressed we cold settle for 48 hours and then rack the juice clean and commence a cold fermentation in stainless steel which will last 21-30 days. The slower ferment allows for pretty floral fermentation esters to develop which we capture during the maturation process post fermentation. The wine does go through partial malo-lactic fermentation to encourage a creamy texture on the palate and the wine sits on the natural fermentation lees with occasional stirring to encourage generous mouthfeel.
This Chardonnay pairs well with salmon gravlax served with finley sliced cucumber, lemon, dill and capers. You might also try it with grilled salmon and herb butter served with rustic, chunky mashed red potatoes with roasted garlic and broccolini. It lends itself well to cheeses and charcuterie, but it’s crisp profile makes an enjoyable apperif wine on a warm summer night.