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.
Argot Chardonnay Sonoma County is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
Pouring a green-tinted gold, our Sonoma County Chardonnay is a beautiful wine from word go. Radiating from within, a blast of apple/pear fruit informs this wine both aromatically, and on the palate. As flavors unfurl, a progression of orange blossom, pineapple, white peach, and hazlenut are followed by a finish dominated by ginger, baked apple, with a trailing kiss of mint’s freshness. A stunning wine — wholly informed by the perfection of 2018’s growing season — defined by its dichotomy of massively intense flavors, and superb acidity and freshness.
Raised by minimalistic methods, often associated with the classic Chardonnay winemaking techniques of Meursault. With a focus on the coolest Chardonnay region in Sonoma County, 2018’s long, even growing season favored our vineyards’ moderate climate, old vines and deep volcanic soils. These grapes were allowed an extended ripening period on the vine, resulting in perfect balance and concentrated flavors.
Flowers Camp Meeting Ridge Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
With mild temperatures leading to a long growing season and a surprise-free harvest, the 2018 vintage can only be described as idyllic. Alternating spells of cool and warm weather during bloom led to varying berry sizes, perfect for developing complexity in Pinot Noir & Chardonnay. Morning fog, afternoon sunshine and a lack of heat spikes throughout the summer allowed for a long ripening period that developed fruit with excellent natural acidity and beautiful flavors.
Mouth-filling citrus, orange blossom and lemon flavors highlight the 2018 season with a textural mineral note gliding across the finish. This is a year marked by brilliant natural acidity, so don’t be afraid of laying some 2018 Chardonnay down for the future.
With age comes maturity and beauty. Our Camp Meeting Ridge Estate vineyards are nearly 30 years old and among the longest standing in the area. Their robust root systems give them a depth and resilience that allow the vines to flourish in raw conditions. They express the unique traits of the setting where they grow. In 2018, our vineyards gave us everything we could have hoped for, and we did our best not to get in the way. The Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from this vintage are profoundly complex wines that convey the nuances of a specific time and place.
Sourced entirely from our organic and biodynamically farmed Camp Meeting Ridge Vineyard. Planted in 1991, these “older” vines are producing our most exciting and interesting Chardonnays to date. Given the extremes of this site, each small block ripens at its own pace. Picked by hand in the foggy frigidness of the early morning, fruit integrity and temperature were ensured for a whole cluster pressing by sunrise.
Coming from the Fort Ross-Seaview appellation, the 2018 Chardonnay Camp Meeting Ridge is more mineral-laced, with a touch of marine-like iodine in its orchard and citrus fruits. Nicely textured and medium to full-bodied, with bright acidity, it's going to benefit from a year (or two) in bottle and should keep for a solid 7-8 years or more.
-Jeb Dunnuck 94+ Points
Patz & Hall Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
The 2018 vintage is elegant, yet powerful and displays classic Hyde Vineyard traits of delicate white flowers, tangerine zest, and lemon cream. On the palate the wine is citrus-driven with orange and lemon flavors along with hints of toasted almond and vanilla. The wine has great acidity that leaves a white chalk/mineral note on the very long finish.
Rich and contoured, this is filled with concentrated Fuji apple, pear tart and quince paste flavors that are well-structured and backed by powerful acidity. Shows intense mineral and sea salt notes on the long finish. Drink now through 2025. 1,400 cases made.
-Wine Spectator 93 Points
Dutton-Goldfield Rued Vineyard Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
The nose leads with tangerine, apricot, and kiwi fruit, accented by lemon oil, orange blossom, and hazelnut. In the mouth, the fruit/floral and bright/rich theme continues, with the lychee and Meyer lemon top notes joined by Asian pear and Gravenstein apple, framed with honeysuckle and gardenia.
The dual nature of the wine makes it pair well with both rich and light fare, like lobster roll, roasted pork, or sautéed sole.
From a clone once called the Chardonnay Musque selection, this wine is highly aromatic and fresh. Juicy tropical fruit and tangerine flavors remain crisp and brilliant, leading to a complex midpalate of Meyer lemon and pear. The finish is topped by lasting, lingering layers of hazelnut.
- Wine Enthusiast 94 Points
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.
Guillemot-Michel Vire-Clesse Retour a la Terre is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
This cuvée is produced from grapes planted in the "Champ-Rond" vineyard and vinified in 800-liter amphoras.
The wine displays the estate's typical exotic fruit aromas and ripe citrus fruits with an extra dimension of expression due to the amphora's breathing. Ample and generous in the mouth with fine acidity and fantastic purity.
Guillemot-Michel Vire-Clesse Retour a la Terre is aged in 800-liter amphoras. The small grapes ripen beautifully without a high degree of alcohol - they are picked on the last day of the harvest, and the aging in amphora gives the wine a great purity.
The vines are grafted on "Riparia Gloire de Montpellier" - an old root-stock that was obtained in 1880 - producing very low yields with magnificent small grapes of a deep gold color.