2016 Sun Chase Chardonnay
In 2013, Alex Guarachi purchased the Sun Chase Vineyard – a majestic property perched above the fog line on Sonoma Mountain at 1,400 feet above sea level. Sun Chase gets its name due to the diurnal temperatures and conditions that include morning fog that breaks during the day as the Sun “chases the fog” away throughout the day, for warm, even ripening during the growing season. Sun Chase is located in the Petaluma Wind Gap, a recently recognized sub-AVA of Sonoma Coast and the only AVA to be designated solely due to wind.
The strong coastal winds that flow through the “Petaluma Gap” from the Pacific Ocean, create small clusters of berries with thick skins. Upon crush, this creates a higher skin to juice ratio and results in wines with greater concentration and flavor.
While Sun Chase is primarily a Pinot Noir vineyard, there are but a few blocks and acres of outstanding quality Chardonnay. For the past few vintages, these grapes have been sold to select high-end wineries for their luxury Chardonnay wines. Now for the first time, Guarachi is proud to introduce its first Estate Bottled Sun Chase Single Vineyard Chardonnay.
This particular vintage of GFW Chardonnay was titled “a winemaker’s dream,” as the growing season was early, even, and all-around superb. A warm, dry spring brought upon perfectly timed bud break which helped with the overall canopy vigor and berry size. Ideal conditions for flowering and fruit, set under the sunny skies only reached at Sun Chase’s elevation, made the perfect setting to create this sumptuous Chardonnay. The grapes were then treated like a fine champagne, gently pressed in whole-clusters for more than four hours with just 10% of the wine in malolactic fermentation. Thus preserving the attractive brightness of the wine and gain just enough buttery roundness on the palate and hints of tropical fruit on the nose.
Hand-picked and night-harvested to reach the epitome quality of the grapes
Total Production: 600 bottles
Aged 3 months in 100% French Oak, 25% New / 75% Neutral
Alc = 14.2%
TASTING NOTES: Notes of citrus, lemon, crushed rocks and white flowers. It’s medium-bodied, fresh and clean, albeit in a slightly mid-weight, yet charming style.