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From the wine archives:

2017 Peay Vineyards 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.

This is a seamless, cold-climate Chardonnay with texture, raciness, and complexity. The light yellow hue with flecks of green reveals this will not be a super-rich and tropical wine and, if served just a tad below cellar temperature (i.e. not cold out of the fridge), the oak does not peek out even a little despite its young age. The nose sets the stage with lime oil, green banana, almond, and lemon thyme aromas. The palate is extraordinary. Some brioche and yeasty bread notes arrive in the mid-palate to broaden the citrus and chalk notes in the fore-palate. The fresh acidity is not aggressive but arrives on the edges of your tongue and the very long finish makes you salivate long after swallowing. There is great persistence on the palate without fat; a quality we seek in all of our wines. This wine is terrific right now and will have a long life ahead of it, evolving gracefully for at least 10 years from vintage.

Reviews for this wine

95Antonio Galloni - Vinous

The 2017 Chardonnay Estate is quite deep and almost phenolic in its sense of structure. This a rare Chardonnay that absolutely demands cellaring. Sage, almond, dried pear, chalk, mint, lemon confit and crushed rocks develop with time in the glass, but the 2017 is a wine that will need at least a few years in bottle to start drinking well. Readers should be in no rush.

 

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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