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From the wine archives:

2015 Peay Vineyard Estate Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast

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A collage of photographs and graphics that represent this Cuvée. This image is also used as the product image for wines of this Cuvée.

Estate Chardonnay

The most frequent comment we receive when we pour our wines for people is, “I hate Chardonnay, but I love yours?” Hmm. Do you hate Chardonnay, or do you hate a certain style of Chardonnay that has become synonymous with California Chardonnay? Chardonnay can be rich, fat and buttery or steely, green, and chalky. And, of course, everything in between. Peay Estate Chardonnay falls somewhere towards the leaner style of Chardonnay but we do not wish to forfeit complexity, depth, and texture to the gods of acidity. That is why we chose the West Sonoma Coast as our home. Due to the cold, moderate weather we have an abundance of acid in our grapes and can wait to pick our fruit until October when the grapes are ripe, the flavors are still in the orchard fruit realm, and sugars are low. As a result, we can use traditional Burgundian winemaking methods to bring forth complexity and nuance as we don’t risk losing verve and ending up with heavy, weighed down wines. These methods include primary fermentation in barrel instead of tank, secondary fermentation (the much maligned malolactic-fermentation) to soften a wine and add texture, stirring of yeast to enhance silkiness and add some flintiness at times, and in the end, we bottle wines unfined and unfiltered.

The result? Our Estate Chardonnay is singular and outstanding. There is a transparency to our site unadorned with clunky winemaking decisions or overt ripeness. The wine often features a floral top end with a whiff of smoke, mint leaf, and some Marcona almond notes supported by a salty, lemony finish. The silky texture and creaminess of the mid-palate hints at richness but is held taut by bright acidity that tells you this is a Peay Chardonnay. And our Chardonnay will improve with age. On release, they are vibrant and edgy and quite pleasing and with a few years become more integrated and nuanced. I have had 15-year-old Peay Chardonnay that are still kicking. Not all our Chardonnay will age for decades but we can assure you they will evolve and develop for at least a decade from release.

With 17 years of vine age and a moderate growing season our Estate Chardonnay has evolved into a mature, nuanced expression that Peay Chardonnay drinkers will thoroughly enjoy. The ultimate impression of the 2015 Estate Chardonnay is grace and harmony. The nose emphasizes candied lemon, lemon verbena, and iodine. The mouthfeel is medium and silky though lively and decidedly not fat. The 2015 is truly a seamless Chardonnay with a smooth transition from the front of the palate to the long finish. It is not as round and rich as the 2009 or 2012 Estate Chardonnays and has less smokiness than the 2013 and less pear fruit than the 2014. Feel free to enjoy it now as all the pieces are in unison but with each year aging in bottle I suspect more nutty and waxy notes will contribute further complexity and enjoyment. This is my favorite Chardonnay we have released to date.

Reviews for this wine

95Antonio Galloni - Vinous

The 2015 Chardonnay Estate is laced with the essence of slate, stone fruit, mint and white pepper. Bright, sculpted and nuanced, the 2015 screams with class. The 2015 deftly manages to be rich and intense, but not at all heavy. A hint of reduction adds nuance without being overpowering.

 

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Our wines are made from grapes grown on our 53-acre hilltop vineyard located above a river in the far northwestern corner of the West Sonoma Coast, 4 miles from the Pacific Ocean. We grow Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay, Viognier, Roussanne and Marsanne. You can browse our current offerings in our online Wine Shop.

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Want Some Wine?

Our wines are made from grapes grown on our 53-acre hilltop vineyard located above a river in the far northwestern corner of the West Sonoma Coast, 4 miles from the Pacific Ocean. We grow Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay, Viognier, Roussanne and Marsanne. You can browse our current offerings in our online Wine Shop.

Shop