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Golden-hued with a shimmering lightness, this wine features fresh scents of lemon zest and the nectar of peaches and apricots. A hint of brioche adds additional interest to the nose, along with a mineral character that evokes the clean, earthy aroma of wet rock. Entry on the palate is broad, filling the mouth with lemon/lime and flavors of nectar echoing the nose. Integrated wood mingles with the slight saltiness of an ocean breeze. This wine’s roundness is balanced by its lively acidity, which lingers on the invigorating finish.
In 1971 Charles F. (Charlie) Wagner and his wife Lorna Belle Glos Wagner asked their son Charles J. (Chuck) Wagner, who had just graduated from high school, if he would be interested in joining them in starting up a winery. If Chuck declined the offer, Charlie and Lorna were planning to sell out of their ranch in Napa Valley and move to Australia. Chuck accepted his parents’ offer to launch the winery, Caymus Vineyards.
The Wagners produced their first vintage in 1972, consisting of 240 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon. Since then, Caymus has focused their efforts in the production of quality Cabernet Sauvignon. Today’s production is 65,000 cases.
Caymus Vineyards remains 100% family-owned by the Wagners. Charlie, Lorna Belle, and Chuck worked together as a remarkable team for over 30 years building Caymus Cabernet. Today, Chuck, his two sons, Charlie and Joe, and one daughter, Jenny, have joined the family team. Farming grapes remain the priority with the family farming about 350 acres of choice Napa Valley land.
The Wagners took the name Caymus from the Mexican land grant known as Rancho Caymus, given to George Yount in 1836, which encompassed what eventually became the town of Rutherford and much of the surrounding area.
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
Sunset Hills Shenandoah Springs Chardonnay is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
This is our first release of a clone-specific wine for Sunset Hills. The goal is to show you a specific terroir, one that year after year delivers excellent fruit quality. I chose clone 96 for its complexity both in ripening and barrel aging. During ripening, the fruit has notes of pineapple and pear with great acidity. I saw this wine as a chance to highlight not only the vineyard, but how detailed we can get in growing and making wine.
75% Clone 96
20% Clone 76
5% Clone 17
Notes of light honeysuckle, Asian pear, raw almond, and lemon custard. Medium body and medium acid.
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.
Paul Hobbs Chardonnay Russian River Valley is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
A vibrant blend derived from our revered vineyards that are defined by the region's cooling fog and warm afternoon sunshine reveals a pale straw color in the glass and aromas of white florals, ground ginger, and Mandarin orange. Golden Delicious apple and Meyer lemon give way to complex flavors of baking spice and piecrust that add a round texture to accompany its bright acidity, framing the long finish.
Notes of meyer lemon and white flower petals carry over to prange blossom and ripe melon.
The late heat in August and September really pushed the Chardonnay to develop into a fruit forward wine. Hand picked, chilled and pressed whole cluster. 10 -20 years old vines.
Lancel Creek Vineyard is perched above the tiny hamlet of Occidental on the remote Sonoma Coast. This secluded, two-acre site was prepared, planted, and is still tended by Ulises Valdez. The pale, off-white Goldridge soil provides just enough nutrients and moisture for these densely planted vines to ripen a small amount of intensely aromatic and flavorful Chardonnay. The vineyard faces the Pacific Ocean, a mere five miles to the west. The combined influence of the cold Pacific and the warming afternoon sun produces a wine of incredible richness and sublime balance.
Soil types: Goldridge, fine sandy loam.
Age of the vines: 15 years
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.
Hoopes Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley is made from 100 percent Cabernet Sauvignon.
“Made with the same care and thoughtfulness of our single vineyard series, the Hoopes Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of fruit from a rich variety of sites. The synthesis of these vineyards, which represent the complex tapestry of Napa terroir, results in sublime balance, intense aromas and luscious textures that bring the diverse valley into harmony in a glass. Born out of curiosity, this Cabernet Sauvignon has matured into a stunning wine, which over delivers in intensity and richness. We are proud of this beautiful example of what the Napa Valley can do.”
This wine has a very pretty fruit-forward nose filled with plummy sweet tarts, cherry compote, cocoa nibs, hard candy, cedar box, and allspice. The entry is fresh and clean with a core of delicious generous fruit. It has a lovely elegant texture, weighty middle and resolves into a mocha filled finish.