The Sonoma Coast is rapidly becoming an important grape growing area due to the cool environment that favors the development of a couple of varietals. We are talking about Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, grapes that prefer less heat than Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc, for example. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir have always been a staple of Sonoma County, but only from pockets of cool weather such as Green Valley, the Russian River and the Carneros District. Direct influence from the Pacific Ocean defines the appellation which was established in 1987. In the north, vineyards are planted high on ridges just a few miles inland. Many lie above the fog that moves in to blanket lower elevations in the afternoon after only a few hours of sun. Other varietals simply would not make it here.
2016 Taken Wine Co. Complicated Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast
List price 17.00; Our price 14.99
Aromas of pineapple and stone fruit erupt from the glass. Fresh Meyer lemon zest shines throughout with just a subtle hint of French oak to soften and round out the wine. There are hints of peach, guava and apricot contributing to the flavors of this lovely Chardonnay. The fruit flavors, coupled with well-integrated French oak make for a well-rounded Chardonnay with excellent balance.
2014 Joseph Carr Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast
List price 20.00; Our price 16.99
This is another good value displaying notes of poached pear, honeysuckle, apple and citrus. The wine was put through partial malolactic fermentation. It is fresh and medium-bodied, showing some buttery character but with very little oak.
2016 Chalk Hill Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast
List price 24.00; Our price 19.99
Aromas of apple, melon, citrus zest and mango meld beautifully with notes of toasted hazelnut and vanilla custard from the oak aging. Pure and rich with an elegant palate, it displays fruit-forward flavors of golden apple, nectarine, and guava with subtle hints of butterscotch. With its cool-climate nuances, this Chardonnay has remarkable varietal intensity, balanced acidity and mineral notes that complement the rich and full flavors of baked apples, and vanilla cream.
2015 Taken Wine Co. Complicated Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast
List price 20.00; Our price 15.99
Wine Enthusiast Magazine awarded this wine 91 points and an “Editors' Choice” rating: “This is such a good offering at this price that it would be a worthy house wine to stock for regular consumption. Richly luxurious and softly layered, its texture stands out among well-integrated earth, black tea and strawberry-rhubarb.”
2014 Chalk Hill Pinot Noir, Sonama Coast
List price 25.00; Our price 19.99
The wine showcases strawberry, ripe cherry, spice and toasty oak on the nose. Flavors of cherry cola, strawberry, and forest floor round out the palate with vanilla undertones and a bright acidity. The finish lingers with a velvety softness and notes of maraschino cherry and oriental spice. Overall, this is a fruit-forward style that can be enjoyed in its youth or aged for another few years.
2013 Marimar Estate Pinot Noir, Doña Margarita V., Sonoma Coast
List price 35.00; Our price 29.99
The elegant nose hints at aromas of wild cherry, clove, and Provence herbs plus the characteristic note of dusty earth from this special vineyard. The tannins are supple and graceful, and the palate is round, complex and fleshy. 90 points from Robert Parker: “…lifted cherries, violets and roses on the nose. Medium-bodied and delicately played in the mouth, it has a gentle frame of chewy tannins and an invigorating finish.”
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