Today, Sonoma County is considered one of the greatest AVAs for Chardonnay in all of California. Sebastiani’s 2009 features multiple clones from a number of extraordinary vineyards in both Cameros and lower Sonoma Valley. The Vintage Cool, wet weather in late winter and early spring delayed vine development. A mild spring and summer led to larger cluster sizes that forced us to thin all of our blocks planted to Clone 4. A warm Indian summer allowed us to harvest our Chardonnay from late September through mid-October, avoiding the torrential rains that showed up at the end of the season. We hand-picked and whole-cluster pressed the grapes then racked 52% of the juice (mainly from cooler sites) into oak for barrel fermentation followed by malolactic fermentation. The remainder was tank fermented at cooler temperatures with malolactic prevented to preserve bright fruit notes and acidity. Select yeast strains, including indigenous, were utilized, depending on the
vineyard. Most of the stainless steel fermented lots were racked with light lees into neutral barrels in December/January. We aggressively stirred the barrels in April to early May to release more texture and flavors. Barrel lots were racked off the lees in July and lightly fined. Bottling began in mid-September.
Our 2009 Chardonnay possesses a wonderful eleganc*e due to the coolness of the vintage. While the wine still has the abundant orchard fruit flavors typical of Sonoma County Chardonnay, it also displays more citrus, acidity and minerality than we have seen in the past. The oak profile is also subdued to better match the wine’s intensity, but there is still plenty of inherent texture and
ripeness thanks to the Indian summer and frequent stirring of the lees. Overall, this is one of the most balanced, complex and delicious Sonoma County Chardonnays we’ve produced in years.
91 Points Best Buy – Wine Enthusiast
Top 100 Best Buy #17 – Wine Enthusiast
Tasting Date: October 2011
Country: Unites States, California, Sonoma
Retail Price on Tasting Date: $13.99