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From the wine archives:

2018 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.

As I smelled this wine all I could think about was drinking it with yogurt curried chicken (Rob Hunter’s delicious recipe can be found online at our web site.) This is a signature Peay Chardonnay stylistically somewhere between the 2016 and 2017 vintages. There is a transparency to our site unadorned with clunky winemaking decisions or overt ripeness. The nose has a floral top end with a whiff of smoke, mint leaf, and some Marcona almond notes that are further supported by a salty, tangy, lemony finish. The silky texture hints at richness but is held taut by bright acidity that tells you this is a Peay Chardonnay. You can enjoy it now and for many years to come. If scores are your thing, seek them out and you will see we are not alone in liking this wine.

Reviews for this wine

92+Erin Brooks - The Wine Advocate

Shy to begin, the 2018 Estate Chardonnay hints at petrichor, lime peel, roasted almonds and elderflower on the nose. The light-bodied palate is minerally to begin, bursting with juiciness and fleshing out to broad pastry and nutty flavors, finishing very long. Lovely! Give it another 2-3 years in bottle. 465 cases produced.

95Antonio Galloni - Vinous

Peay’s 2018 Chardonnay Estate is a superb wine that shows just how pedigreed Sonoma Coast Chardonnay can be. What I like most about the 2018 is its translucent personality and weightless sense of elegance. Lemon confit, white flowers, mint, white pepper and dried flowers are all finely-knit, but it is the wine’s textural feel that really elevates it into the realm of the sublime. A touch of reduction adds lingers on the finish nicely, without being obtrusive.

 

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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