Lot #22 ERNEST VINEYARDS
Cleary Ranch Vineyard 50%, Joyce Vineyard 50%
- Sonoma Coast
ABOUT THE WINE:
A play on the words ‘Chardonnay’ and ‘clay’ aging vessels, “Char-Don-Clay” showcases the essence of West Sonoma Coast’s Freestone with this blend of two Chardonnay sites Ernest Vineyards leases and farms organically. Primary fermentation occurs in oak barrels, then the wine is blended in a sandstone ceramic clay jarre (French for ‘jar’) from Vin et Terre, a sandstone jarre supplier in France. The use of clay for aging allows for a wine with a linear, mineral-driven expression with only micro-oxidation that allows for transparency with maritime-influenced Chardonnay.
Celebrating 10 years in 2022, Ernest Vineyards was founded by Erin Brooks and Todd Gottula to craft wines of integrity and restraint from the far reaches of West Sonoma Coast. Ernest focuses on cool-climate, marine-influenced and undiscovered vineyards and produces small-lot wines that offer a sense of place in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. In 2018, Winemaker Joseph Ryan joined Ernest, bringing focus and finesse to their low-intervention method. Current production is approximately 6,000 cases annually.
This Chardonnay comes from Cleary Ranch and Joyce Vineyard, which are located in the very chilly Freestone but at differing elevations. Cleary Ranch is in the heart of Freestone Valley with the Chardonnay blocks abutting Salmon Creek. That location begins to see a little clay peppered in with Goldridge soil, allowing for some astounding expression in the Chardonnay clones. In contrast, Joyce Vineyard is perched on the ridge above Freestone Valley. At only 3 acres it is planted entirely to Chardonnay with a focus on Clone 5, which delivers vibrant acidity. Joseph prioritizes the use of gentle methods to shepherd grapes into wine. He uses little sulfur on the crush pad and entirely native yeast for primary and malolactic fermentations without additives or adjustments. The final wines are pure, true expressions of the small vineyards from which they come. “Char-Don-Clay” is balanced, but quite restrained, with characteristic cool-climate citrus and floral expressions and taut acidity.
WINEMAKER(S): Joseph Ryan
ESTIMATED BOTTLING DATE: March 2022
ESTIMATED SHIPPING DATE: November 2022
National Distribution: CA, CO, CT, IL, ME, MT, NJ, NY, SC, TN, TX
International Distribution: Please inquire for more information.A winemaker dinner or store visit is offered in your market as part of this lot. Must be scheduled on a mutually agreeable date.