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Red Car Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2013

Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
  • W&S91
0% ABV
  • WW92
  • WE92
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0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The Chardonnay grapes for Red Car's Sonoma Coast Chardonnay were hand harvested and immediately whole cluster pressed. The juice was settled overnight then barreled down into French oak to undergo primary and secondary (malolactic) fermentation. The minimalist style (non-interventionist techniques, native yeast, natural acidity, limited racking) yields a wine of great purity, concentration and palate smoothness with a racy acidity and chalky minerality rarely associated with California Chardonnay.

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 91
Wine & Spirits
This wine's bracing acidity catches the coolness of the California coast. Racy yet almost tropical - like the buzzing pink energy of a guava - this is a curious but refreshing chardonnay unencumbered by an apparent oak, and one you could serve like an albarino, with razor clams.
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Red Car

Red Car Wine Company

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Red Car Wine Company, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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Red Car uses meticulous viticulture and transparent winemaking to craft wines with authentic character and originality. Combining old and new world techniques, we minimize manipulation so the fruit can faithfully express the cool climate personality of the Sonoma Coast.

Red Car was founded by Carroll Kemp and Mark Estrin in 2000 with 50 cases of Syrah from a single ton of grapes. Besides an enthusiasm for wine, they also shared a Hollywood background – Carroll as producer, Mark as screenwriter. Their intent was simple: source great grapes, make great wine and market it in an inventive, original way.

The winery name is a tribute to the electric trolley cars that ran throughout Los Angeles from the late 19th century through the early 1960’s. These "red cars" provided transportation in a romanticized time and place. We strive to make wines that are similarly memorable and transportive.

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.

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.

HNYRCRCHY13C_2013 Item# 141078