Keller Estate La Cruz Vineyard Chardonnay 2004
The winemaking philosophy at Keller Estate is simple: they respect the terrior that is characteristic of this vineyard estate and they minimize the handling and manipulation of the grapes to preserve the quality. They have pursued a blueprint of clonal diversity based on the altitude, orientation and soil composition of each vineyard block that is best for each individual clone. This clonal diversity provides the textures, flavors and aromas with which to build complexity into the wines. Winemaker Michael McNeill spends considerable time in the vineyard, assessing crop levels, canopy management and irrigation timing. However, his most important decision comes from tasting the ripening fruit over and over again – the optimal time to harvest.
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.
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 it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.