Flowers Vineyard is a true Sonoma Coast pioneer. Strong advocates of organic and sustainable farming practices, their Estate vineyards perch just inland from the Pacific. This rugged (some might say “extreme”) AVA benefits from cool maritime breezes, clear days, plenty of sun exposure for ripening, and chilly evening fog that produces an unmistakeable fresh acidity in the finished wines.
Grapes are hand-harvested into small bins through the cool early morning hours, then hand-sorted. Fruit is gently whole cluster-pressed, settled, then moved to French oak barrels (new and one to two years old) for primary and malolactic fermentation in temperature and humidity-controlled aging rooms. Each barrel is stirred by hand twice a month. (This traditional method, batonnage, whisks up the yeast and sediment known as lees that naturally settles on the bottom of the barrels.) This detail produces encourages soft texture and complex mouth feel. The final blend is composed in early summer, followed by additional aging in bottle.
The 2015 vintage trades the Sonoma Coast’s trademark electric acidity for a more elegant line. The nose is expressive, with aromas of citrus zest, lime blossom, honeysuckle, and flint. The palate is pure Sonoma Coast texture: Minerality, salinity, and a precise-yet-calm acidity that carries through the finish. A true expression of grape and terroir.
“The 2015 Chardonnay Sonoma Coast is an attractive, open-knit Chardonnay to drink now and over the next few years. Lemon confit, hazelnut and dried flowers grace this very pretty, if somewhat hushed, Chardonnay. Veins of underlying salinity add brightness and freshness throughout.”
92 points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, March 2017