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B. Kosuge Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2015

    750ML / 13% ABV
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    750ML / 13% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    I am still trying to be as straightforward and low-tech as I can in the making of this wine. No added yeast or bacteria, no fining, very "hands off" during the fermentation and aging. Mostly what I do is watch and wait--stirring up the barrels once in a while, checking the sugar and temperature during fermentation to make sure all is well, and so on. The wine is aged on the lees in a combination of mostly neutral barrels, hogsheads and concrete eggs, and is bottled in the summer just prior to the next harvest.

    2015 was the last year of an extended drought, and crop levels were down dramatically across the Sonoma Coast. Wine quality, however, was exceptional. Too bad there is so little of it! Having said that, by adding a second vineyard to the mix, I was able to bottle more Chardonnay in 2015 than I ever have, 342 cases.

    How does it taste? A combination of citrusy fruit, beeswax, and savory notes. Bright and refreshing, just a touch of creaminess and yeastiness that adds weight on the mid-palate. A little more subtle than the 2014. A worthy companion to all manner of white wine foods, and a pretty nice drink on its own.

    Critical Acclaim

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    B. Kosuge

    B. Kosuge

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    B. Kosuge , California
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    Byron Kosuge, winemaker at Saintsbury for 20 years, makes this blockbuster label of his own. Selecting vineyards for their unique terroir, Byron’s cornerstone is "The Shop," an expressive Pinot dedicated to the people who tend the grapes. It is joined by small productions sourced from top vineyards, including Hirsch, Hudson, Soberanes and his monopole vineyard in Carneros. All exquisite, these wines capture Byron's sense of dedication, modesty and elegance.
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    Sonoma Coast

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    A vast appellation covering Sonoma County’s Pacific coastline, the Sonoma Coast AVA runs all the way from the Mendocino County border, south to the San Pablo Bay. The region can actually be divided into two sections—the actual coastal vineyards, marked by marine soils, cool temperatures and saline ocean breezes—and the warmer, drier vineyards further inland, which are still heavily influenced by the Pacific but not quite with same intensity.

    Contained within the appellation are the much smaller Fort Ross-Seaview and Petaluma Gap AVAs.

    The Sonoma Coast is highly regarded for elegant Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and, increasingly, cool-climate Syrah. The wines have high acidity, moderate alcohol, firm tannin, and balanced ripeness.

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    Chardonnay

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    One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

    In the Glass

    When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.

    Perfect Pairings

    Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy sauces.

    Sommelier Secret

    Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.

    SKRCBY048_2015 Item# 514929