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Ancien Chardonnay Carneros is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
Chardonnay Carneros owes its style, depth, and structure to intensely flavored, low yielding, heirloom clones growing in two Carneros vineyards: on the Napa side, the Toyon Farm and on the Sonoma side, the Sangiacomo Vella Ranch. Ancien Wines hand-selected the cuttings themselves, from older vineyards in the Carneros area. These cuttings are reputed to have origins tracing to Paul Masson who imported them from Burgundy in the early 1940’s, from Louis Latour's renowned Corton Charlemagne vineyard. These selections are often referred to as “Old Wente”or “Robert Young,”denoting the sourced mother blocks in the 1960s.
Notes of ripe apple and honeydew melon greet and are delicately perfumed by notes of freesia and citrus blossom. Brighter notes of lime and Meyer lemon match the refreshing acidity of this wine, balanced by a creamy palate and leading to a finish that will continue to lengthen in the coming months. A wonderfully textured and vibrant Chardonnay displaying the best of Carneros.
Chardonnay Carneros is guided toward a layered, complex, and expressive style that develops gracefully in the bottle and shows enticing minerality, vivacious fruit, length and structure. The watchword is balance. Grapes were pressed as whole clusters, settled and fermented entirely in French oak from four different coopers, chosen for their unique synergism and support of the fruit on the palate. One third of the barrels were new. A variety of yeasts were used, including native strains, and fermentation proceeded evenly and slowly, averaging a cool 55°F. The wine was aged on its yeast lees, which were stirred weekly through the spring.
The Ancien Estate Wines
The Estate is owned by Ken and Teresa Bernards whose combined experience is moving into its 3rd decade, having made acclaimed wines for other producers prior to focusing on their own label, Ancien. Their trips to Burgundy filled them with inspiration drawn from the ancient history and tradition of winemaking. While the techniques have constantly been refined, they have been using the same principles of winemaking for generations.
The Ancien Vineyards
Carneros Chardonnay comes from a plant selection, planted on vineyards at the Toyon Ranch on the Napa side of Carneros and the Vella Ranch. Carneros Pinot Noir is a blend of two very similar vineyards situated near the Napa-Sonoma county line at the southern end of the appellation. The two vineyards, Domaine Chandon and the Ferguson Ranch, were both planted in 1973. Both are austere sites with lean soils and low vigor. The similarity of site, rootstock, clone and vine age (28 year old) ensure a commonality between the wines. Sonoma Mountain Pinot Noir is grown in Steiner Vineyard, at 1100 feet elevation, on the cool northwestern slope, 17 miles from the ocean. The first grapes were planted here in 1973 (making them pioneer of the region). Seeing the unique qualities of grapes grown in this outstanding area, they were a driving force in creating the Sonoma Mountain Appellation. The soils vary through the vineyard changing from clay loamy stuff with fractured ryolite to an austere rocky area. Carneros Pinot Gris is grown on the far southwestern edge at the Sangiacomo family's El Novillero Vineyard (2 acres). The soils and eastern facing orientation are perfect.
Ancien Chardonnay Coombsville Haynes Old Block is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
Inspired by the classic and most revered Chardonnay vineyard in the world, Le Montrachet, Ancien winery utilizes the same classic techniques. It is fermented in tight-grained French Oak cask after a gentle squeeze as whole clusters. The wine is not moved through the fermentation and aging period, only pushed by inert gas in gentle fashion into the bottling tank. In vintages where the wine achieves good clarity through natural settling, the wine is not filtered – otherwise it undergoes a light polish to help reveal is core of fruit.
The effusive nose welcomes with layers of lemon meringue, ripe apple, citrus zest, honey and grape blossom. The palate is vibrant and fresh, and the richly textured mouth-feel is expansive. Baked apple tart and stone fruit emerge as this opulent wine reaches the depths of your palate, with further notes brioche. The finish is a focused amalgamation of minerality and ripe fruit. Give this cellar worthy Chardonnay time to open up and it will reveal increasingly lush and creamy layers as it evolves over minutes in the glass and the years in the bottle.
Ancien Pinot Noir Carneros is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Pinot Noir Carneros comes entirely from the Toyon Vineyard, located in the Napa side of Carneros. This vineyard was originally planted for Ancien Wines in 1998 with cuttings tracing back to the Swan estate in Sonoma County and Dijon 115 - followed by cuttings from Ed Penhoet’s vineyard in Carmel Valley. Ed’s selection from River Selection is a story into itself, and is sometimes referred as “Pisoni Clone” since Gary Pisoni took cuttings from the vineyard in the early ‘80s.
Baking spice sings in an endless symphony with wild berry notes, complemented by characteristic Carneros notes of cola. Juicy cherry notes grace the palate and combine seamlessly with anise and hibiscus, ending on a savory note. The palate is round and full of textural, mouth-coating tannins balanced by a bright acidity. Broad chewy tannins, earthy spices and minerality complement the fruit and exotic floral notes of this wine. The palate of this delicious wine will continue to develop in opulence over years of aging, revealing even darker layers and an increasingly smooth texture.
Lively in brooding black fruit, this wine is balanced in richness and length, with a lasting wealth of baking spice and black tea. Well integrated, it forms a cohesive experience on the smooth, seductive palate, finding a balance across all its components
-Wine Enthusiast 93 Points
Laird Chardonnay Cold Creek is 100% Chardonnay
Our Cold Creek Chardonnay is grown in the slightly cooler microclimate of the Sonoma side of the Los Carneros district to the west, where thick fog and cool marine winds protect its tender skins. Indigenous to the Burgundy region of France, Clones 15 and 95 at a 50:50 ratio exhibit an approachable style and luminous, golden color.
Tasting Notes: The appearance of golden straw leads you through an aromatic journey with notes of tropical fruits, sweet nectarine, melon, and vanilla. The wine has flavors of jasmine, citrus, and ripe Fuji apple that are complemented by a creamy mouthfeel and hints of lemon curd. The finish lingers on the palate, making you yearn for the next sip.
Vineyard: 100% Cold Creek Ranch
Appellation: Los Carneros
Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
50% Malolactic Fermentation
Morlet Coup de Coeur Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
From the same hillside vineyards as ‘Ma Princesse’ and ‘Ma Douce,’ this unique cuvée was judiciously blended from a strictly limited number of selected barrels displaying truly outstanding features. It is our ‘Heart’s Astonishment’ or ‘Coup de Cœur.’
Straw yellow color. Complex bouquet of candied lemon, citrus oils, Reinette apple and strong notes of hazelnut and white truffle. Mineral driven on the palate, the mouth feel is rich yet delicate. Seamless and classic, it is wonderfully subtle and long on the finish. With a very high ageing potential, this wine can be cellared for over a decade.
The borderline perfect 2017 Chardonnay Coup De Coeur comes from a selection of the best barrels and there are only 150 cases of this elixir. Aged in 40% new French oak, this exotic, powerful Chardonnay offers a heavenly bouquet of honeyed citrus, toasted brioche exotic flowers, and orange blossom. It’s rich, voluptuous, and thrillingly textured, yet has good acidity, remarkable purity, a stacked mid-palate and a finish that won’t quit. Count me impressed; California Chardonnay doesn’t get much better.
-Jeb Dunnuck 99 Points
Coup de Coeur is an über barrel-selection blend of the Morlet’s Chardonnay vineyards, using exclusively Old Wente clone selection. The 2017 Chardonnay Coup de Coeur bursts with spicy notions of allspice and coriander seed over a core of ripe Bosc pears, apple pie and almond croissant with wafts of beeswax and candied ginger. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is tightly wound, offering beautiful tension to offset all the opulent, spicy flavors, finishing very long and incredibly harmonious even at this very youthful stage. 150 cases are due to be made.
-Wine Advocate 99 Points
Patz & Hall Dutton Ranch Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
Winemaker and Founder James Hall. Since 1988 founder and winemaker James Hall has guided the Patz & Hall winemaking program, instilling it with his own boldness, imagination and trademark perfectionism. Combining a belief in great viticulture, traditional winemaking practices, and the judicious use of innovative techniques, James has earned a reputation for crafting dramatic benchmark Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs that balance vibrant power with vineyard-inspired depth and sophistication. In 1983 James joined Napa Valley’s Flora Springs Winery and Vineyards as assistant winemaker. There, he spent four years developing his expertise crafting barrel-fermented, small-lot Chardonnays. While at Flora Springs, James struck up a close friendship with sales manager Donald Patz, and the two soon discovered that they shared a similar philosophical approach to wine and winemaking. In the spring of 1988, while working as the winemaker and estate manager for Honig Winery, James teamed up with Donald and Heather Patz, and Anne Moses to make and release Patz & Hall’s inaugural Napa Valley Chardonnay.
Aromas of ginger, guava and Crème brûlée with toasted almond, and toffee-brown sugar. Dense, and full bodied, there’s a pleasingly crisp and mouthwatering green apple note on the palate that melds with dried apricot, tangerine flavors along with a hint of toasted oak.
From the Russian River, the 2017 Chardonnay Dutton Ranch is a step up and has more intensity and depth, with a rocking bouquet of honey stone fruits, brioche, toasted hazelnuts, and crushed stone. Rich, medium to full-bodied, and beautifully balanced, with bright acidity, it has a kiss of background oak but is a seriously good, layered effort that will cruise for 5-7 years, probably longer. - Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points
Fullerton Five Faces Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
Five FACES is an acronym for the Fullerton family – Filip, Alex, Caroline, Eric, and Susanne. The wines blend fruit from multiple vineyards in Willamette Valley, mainly in the north of the valley with one to the west in the Van Duzer Corridor. A full representation of the Willamee Valley’s soil types is on display with one volcanic vineyard, two loess (windblown) vineyards, and two sedimentary vineyards. The vineyards range in elevation from 550-700 feet.
Honeydew melon, japanese pear, apricot, honeysuckle, apple-blossom, nutmeg, brioche, and lemon curd. Melon is echoed on the palate with notes of lemon, tangerine, toasted almonds, and fennel. Lovely and integrated acidity balances the palate weight from 17 months on the lees.
17 months in 10% new French Oak
Paris with creamy dishes and cheeses. Chicken and Turkey.
Michael David Winery Gluttony Old Vine Zinfandel is made from 100 percent Zinfandel.
This region produces some of California’s biggest and burliest Zinfandels that pull no punches, all too fitting characteristics for this wine. The grapes for this wine come from a 5 acre, 90 year old dry farmed Zinfandel hilltop vineyard off Ridge Road in Amador County, near Sutter Creek. Farmer Jon Murrill oversees the vineyard and does much of the farming himself.
TASTING NOTES This burly Zin is worth the indulgence. Deep purple in color, our 2017 Gluttony Zinfandel opens with tempting notes of pomegranate, ripe berry and hickory on the nose. Bold and booming flavors of plum, boysenberry and spice stand out while the extended barrel aging and mild tannins lend to a lush, lingering finish.
Wolfberger Alsace Gewurztraminer is made from 100 percent Gewurztraminer
Very aromatic, with rose petal, peach and honeysuckle aromas. Full bodied, bright, zesty and crisp, this wine is extravagant and extroverted.
This wine has been awarded with silver and gold medal on a regular basis for the last decade.