Wine & Spirits 90 points - Sourced from a number of coastal vineyards, including Flowers’ mature vines at Camp Meeting Ridge, this is as bright and fresh as it is creamy, its almond-like richness lifted by a pretty orange-blossom scent and lemony acidity. It’s a textural pleasure for filet of sole.
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Pale gold color. Enticing, airy aromas of lemon zest and lime blossom are brought back to earth with those of bayleaf and wet flint. Fresh flavors of Asian pear and Honeycrisp apple are supported by abundant texture in the mid-palate. With vibrant acidity, typical of the extreme Sonoma Coast, this Chardonnay finishes with length and elegance.
Wine maker notes
Using organic and sustainable farming practices, we carefully nurture Chardonnay in our estate vineyards located on the “extreme” Sonoma Coast. The grapes benefit directly from the influence of the nearby Pacific Ocean which provides cool daytime breezes during bright sunny days to ensure proper ripening and chilly evening fogs to guarantee lively acidity for freshness in the finished wines.
Our Camp Meeting Ridge Vineyard, situated at over 1,200 ft in elevation, was among the first vineyards planted in the area. Established in 1991, the vineyard is planted primarily to Chadonnay with the majority of the vines being Hyde-Old Wente clonal selections complimented by plantings of Dijon clones 76 and 95.
In the fall, the grapes are carefully selected by hand in the cool morning hours in order to maintain freshness, and placed into small bins to ensure proper delivery to the winery. There, grape clusters are sorted by hand before going directly into the press. Gently pressed Chardonnay juice is settled in order to limit the amount of solids in the new juice, then put directly into new and 1-2 year old French oak barrels for 100% barrel fermentation.
FERMENTATION & CELLARING
Barrels undergo fermentation in temperature and humidity controlled aging rooms. When fermentation is complete, the new wines are put through a second fermentation converting Malic Acid to Lactic Acid. Twice monthly barrels are hand stirred with a thin wand. This traditional method of battonage creates complexity in the wine by whisking up natural yeast and fermentation sediment known as lees and allowing them to settle through the aging wines. The wines becomes softer, more complex and gain exquisite mouth feel.
Final blending takes place in early summer. The wines receive additional bottle aging in our temperature controlled cellar until release.
As nursery owners in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, Walt and Joan Flowers had long dreamed of combining their love of wine with their passion for agriculture. They knew they wanted to produce their favorite varietals, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir; what they didn't know was that their path would eventually lead them across country to Northern California's rugged Sonoma Coast. After responding to a small classified ad in a national wine publication, that's exactly where they landed.
In 1989, after many information-gathering trips to Napa and Sonoma, Walt and Joan purchased 321 acres, including a ridge top, high above the Pacific Ocean on the northern Sonoma Coast. With the same determination they drew on to build their successful nursery business; the Flowers proceeded with the dream of producing their favorite cool-climate varietals in a place they believed uniquely suited to growing them.
Today, Flowers Winery produces 15,000 cases of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from its two estate properties, Camp Meeting Ridge and Flowers Ranch, as well as select vineyards in the coolest regions of the Sonoma Coast AVA, which are farmed to Flowers' specifications by their own crews. In addition to direct consumer sales, the wines are sold to fine restaurants and retailers in the US and overseas.