Bydand Chardonnay Sonoma Coast is made from 100% Chardonnay
Aged for 16 months in 30% new French oak, 70% neutral French oak
Farmed by one of California’s most respected and longest operating grape-growing families, the Roberts Road Vineyard is located in the Petaluma Gap. Sitting on well draining gravel soils, coastal winds allow for a long, slow and even growing season. Planted in 1998 these Dijon 95 grapes provide minerality and vibrancy to a full-bodied wine with impressive purity of flavor and mouth-feel. French oak barrels add subtle toast to aromas of pear, stone fruits and white citrus.
"Dark gold in color, this wine is densely layered in ripe peach and rich butterscotch. The oak is hearty yet well-integrated, adding to the overall structure and power of the wine. - Virginie Boone "
- Wine Enthusiast (July 2020), 90 pts
Colmant Brut Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay (Franschhoek and Robertson).
15% of the base wine has been barrel fermented.
Ageing: This wine spends a minimum of 45 months on the lees at a consistent temperature of 14C before degorgement.
Tasting: Delicate light gold color with a lime-green hue. The nose is fresh, lemony and floral with notes of green apple, followed by yeasty and biscuity aromas brought by the lengthy maturation on the lees. Very fine bead of bubbles with a persistent mousse. Opulent on the palate, this wine shows a harmonious balance between fresh zestiness, mineral complexity and a warm breadth of leesy creaminess. It promises to develop great texture over time.
Drinking tips: Ideal with pan fried scallops or line fish "au beurre blanc", it is also the oyster's best friend and will enhance the flavors of parmesan, asparagus, artichokes, parma ham,…
"The core of this wine, which subsequently spent 52 months on lees, comes from the 2015 vintage and shows the ageing potential for which Colmant bubblies are famous. Savoury, fresh and intense, with plenty of colour, added complexity from reserve material, notes of aniseed and citrus peel and a fine, refreshing finish. 2021-25"
- Tim Atkin (South Africa 2020 Report), 93 pts
There are many alternatives to Champagne, and South Africa is no exception with some fine “Method Cap Classique.” Jean-Philippe Colmant hired winemaker Nicolas Follet to create a small range of impressive sparkling wines; they eschew malolactic fermentation and practice extended lees aging.- NM" - eRobertParker.com (Issue #196, August 2011), 92 pts
A blanc de blanc with the heart of Chardonnay, the NV Brut Chardonnay has focused citrus tones on the nose with notes of yellow pear and green apple. The oak is subtle here, with a solid beam of acidity through the mid-palate. The wine is thoughtful and focused, and the finish leaves my mouth watering; there is serious acidity here, and they are doing it right. Colmant is the little guy doing some really great things— quietly focused wines, with serious aging potential. Keep this small producer on your radar. I expect nothing but great things in years to come from JP Colmant and his new winemaker, Paul Gerber, formerly of Le Lude. - Anthony Mueller"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #245, October 2019), 91+ pts
"Pale straw with a ï¬ne bead and scents of biscuit and lemon zest. The NV Brut is richly ï¬‚avorful and full, a complete wine with a long ï¬nish. Tasted blind, it can easily be mistaken for good quality Champagne. Spends 4 years on the lees; 15% of the base wine is fermented in barrel. Disgorged 9 months ago. A blend of Robertson and Franschhoek grapes from the Colmant vineyard."
- I-WineReview 92 pts
"Our favorite Colmant sparkler by far, this blanc de blancs would easily pass for good quality Champagne. It’s pale straw with a fine bead with biscuit and lemon aromas. Very flavorful and complex on a rich palate with a persistent finish, it’s 100% Chardonnay, 15% barrel fermented, and spends 4 years on the lees. RS 5 g/L"
- I-WineReview 92 pts
Ferren Pinot Noir Silver Eagle Vineyard is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Winemaker Matt Courtney learned what he knows of Pinot Noir on the Sonoma Coast during his eight-year apprenticeship with Helen Turley of Marcassin Vineyards. At Ferren he employs artisan methods crafting his wines in small lots from single-vineyard sources with native fermentation and without fining or filtration. | Falling Bright
Silver Eagle Vineyard rests atop Stoetz Ridge, the land mass that divides the remote Sonoma Coast from the Russian River Valley. This vineyard experiences both the cooling ocean breezes of the nearby Pacific, as well as the warmth of the interior valley. The wine made from this unique confluence of climates is extraordinary: the Pinot Noir a rare balance of explosive wild berry, mouthwatering acidity, and rich, polished tannins; the Chardonnay a fascinating juxtaposition of briny minerality and candied citrus. [ The late Ulises Valdez - brilliant vineyard manager and owner of this vineyard - built his family home on this spectacular site.] | Ferren
"Refined and elegant, with a lithe, creamy texture to the dried red fruit and berry flavors, lengthening out with forest forest floor notes. The fine-grained, minerally finish shows leafy accents and hints of sandalwood. Drink now through 2025.—K.M.”
- Wine Spectator Insider (March 18th 2020), 94 pts
Flanagan Chardonnay Bacigalupi is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
Just south of the winery, Bacigalupi Vineyard straddles Westside Road in the upper reach of Russian River Valley. The 125 acre vineyard encompasses a range of terroir, from heavier valley floor soil along the Russian River to alluvial clay loam on the rolling hillsides. The fruit is sourced from a superb block of 25 year-old Wente Clone vines located on the western slope of the site. Bacigalupi was the source of the Chateau Montelena Chardonnay that, famously, beat the French wines at the "Judgement of Paris" in 1976. Bacigalupi Chardonnay has a nose of lemon zest and vanilla bean. The palate opens with red pear and Meyer lemon, and brioche toast and honey comb notes on the finish. Like well-made Chardonnay from great vineyards around the world this wine benefits from getting some air, will age for years, and is best when served chilled around 50 degrees. This wine will evolve in the bottle for many years to come. A terrific wine from one of Sonoma County's top sites for Chardonnay.
"Fresh and floral, this bold, layered wine tastes of green apple, lemon and lime, with a pleasing bite of tartness on the midpalate. The acidity is persistent and supportive of the fleshy full-bodied nature of the tropical richness the wine otherwise presents. - Virginie Boone"
- Wine Enthusiast (August 2019), 91 pts
Grace Town Chardonnay Margaret River is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
Coastal influences in the Margaret River area yield chardonnay with tropical fruit notes. Hints of passion fruit and guava, with balanced acidity results in a delicious chardonnay.
Wine was slightly filtered before bottling. Malolactic fermentation was partially done.
A portion of the wine is aged in new and used French Oak barrels.
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
The 2011 is a great Chardonnay Marcassin Vineyard from a much-maligned and sometimes excessively criticized vintage. 2011 has its low points, but there are many producers who got it right, and survived the challenging growing and harvest conditions. This wine has phenomenal intensity, with plenty of crushed rock, pineapple, honeysuckle, orange and tangerine blossom in an elegant, medium to full-bodied style, with terrific intensity, good acidity and freshness. This is more evolved than either the 2009 or 2010, and probably will be a candidate for 7-8 years of aging, rather than 10 or more.
There is no doubt that Marcassin is the most difficult appointment for people to schedule, to sit down and taste wine with owners Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer. The legacy they have created in California wine is immense. They are in their early seventies, and have decided to completely dedicate themselves to their own vineyard on the Sonoma Coast. I saw them recently, and tasted through these current and upcoming releases of both the Estate Chardonnay and Estate Pinot Noir. The Chardonnay, of course, comes from very low-yielding old Wente clones of Chardonnay planted on the slopes of the Sonoma coastline hillsides. This clone is believed to have been brought over from Burgundy’s grand cru vineyard, Corton-Charlemagne, decades ago.
Here are the notes on the bottled 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and barrel samples of the 2013 and 2014. As readers know, this is probably one of the most Burgundian-styled Chardonnays ever made in California, and it has attracted many imitators. It goes through full malolactic fermentation, and sees a good dosage of new oak, but the tiny yields and meticulous winemaking are brilliant, and the wines, by and large, have aged very well, with the first Estate Chardonnays from 1996, 1997 and 1998 still going strong. The same can be said for some of Helen Turleys first Chardonnays from purchased fruit, particularly from the Lorenzo Vineyard, Hudson Vineyard and Gauer Vineyard/Upper Barn (now owned by the Jackson family, and known as their Alexander Valley Mountain Estate).
-Robert Parker Wine Advocate. 97 Points
Marcassin (French for ‘young wild boar’) is a distinctive Sonoma Coast, California winery owned by renowned winemaker Helen Turley and her husband John Wetlaufer, a viticulturalist. Helen Turley has worked as a consultant for numerous acclaimed wineries, but she now focuses mainly on her Marcassin wines.
Helen & John (a viticulturalist) produce around 2,500 cases of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir annually. The wines are highly sought after: 90% of the wine is sold via mailing list, and eager connoisseurs can wait years for the chance to be allocated a bottle.
Marcassin’s limited yield 20-acre estate vineyard is located on the Sonoma Coast and planted 2/3 Pinot Noir & 1/3 Chardonnay. It is meticulously farmed with densely planted vines. Fruit for their other vineyard-designated wines are sourced from neighboring Sonoma Coast vineyards.
Helen crafts unique, complex, and highly extolled expressions of Sonoma Coast wines following traditional Burgundian style, fermenting with natural yeast, primarily new oak and extended time on lees. The wines are bottled without fining, filtering or cold stabilization and are typically aged five years prior to release.
Betz Family La Serenne Syrah is 100% Syrah
La Serenne is the most reflective of the site/vintage dynamic of our three single-site 2012 Syrahs. Lovers of this wine know that its source, the Boushey Vineyard, is the highest altitude of the three vineyards and is typically the latest harvested. This cool site was accentuated by the cooler season and the results reflect the seriousness of this vineyard and its care.
An extraordinary, nearly impenetrable black purple color leads to a concentrated, inky aromatic impression: smoky black cherry and wild blackberry dominate, but a litany of supporting aromas is already emerging: smoke, violet, mushroom, roasted meat, Chinese 5 spice and minerals. It has a full attack on entry and a big, rich mouthfeel that goes on and on.
2012 is our 13th harvest from this site and these rows. We continue to be impressed with the chameleon nature of this vineyard, in cool years and hot, in heat spikes and cool springs: it provides us with surprises and opportunities at every harvest. While the themes of deep black fruits and pliant structure always surface, the nuance of this vineyard and its care (thank you, Dick Boushey) make it some of the most satisfying fruit we work with every harvest.
"The pure, elegant and textured 2014 Syrah la Serenne offers that classic violet and floral characteristics of the cuvee, as well as medium to full-bodied richness, lots of black raspberry fruit, fine, sweet tannin and a great finish. It’s not as powerful or concentrated as the La Cote Rousse, yet it’s a joy to drink and will cruise for a decade or more on its balance and purity. - Jeb Dunnuck"
- Robert Parker's Wine Advocate (Issue #225, June 2016), 93 pts
The Kasteelberg range of wines, celebrates the discovery of Riebeek and the Kasteelberg mountains in 1661. Kasteelberg stands sentinel over the fertile valley below. From the slopes of the mountains, hand-selected grapes are expertly crafted with care to produce rare and expressive wines. The Kasteelberg range truly is the pinnacle of our Winemaker's art.
Often referred to as Shiraz Country, the Riebeek Valley is renowned for exceptional Shiraz wines.
The Kasteelberg Shiraz is a lively rich wine, full bodied with a subdued smokiness on the nose and a pallet of ripe fruit and interesting spice.
Well-balanced and smooth, the aftertaste lingers with the exciting flavors of Christmas pudding.
Serve at room temperature. The perfect companion to barbequed lamb, fillet medallions and game. Lovely with Springbok stuffed with bacon, garlic and rosemary and a great match to a cheese and preserve platter.
"I'd expect to prefer the 2017 Shiraz to the 2018 bottling, but it's actually the reverse. Maybe Alecia Boshoff has just got more experience with the fruit from this Kasteelberg site. Sweet and spicy, with enticing incense and violet aromas, fine tannins, succulent red berry fruit and deftly integrated one-third new oak. 2021-26"
- Tim Atkin (South Africa 2020 Report), 92 pts