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 were hand-harvested into small bins through the early morning hours when the fruit was still cool, then sorted by hand. Bunches were gently whole cluster-pressed; juice was 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 was stirred by hand twice a month. (This traditional method, batonnage, whisks up the yeast and fine sediment known as lees that naturally settles in the bottom of the barrels.) This detail encourages soft texture and complex mouth feel in the finished wine. After blending in early summer, the wine aged in bottle prior to release.
“The 2016 Chardonnay (Sonoma Coast) is a gorgeous appellation level wine. Intensely perfumed, with tons of sheer class, the 2016 has so much to offer. The tropical fruit, mint and floral notes are pliant and open in this creamy, polished Chardonnay from Flowers. This is a terrific introduction to the vintage.”
92 points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, July 2018
“The 2016 Chardonnay Sonoma Coast offers up subtle lemongrass, grapefruit and nectarine notes with touches of chalk dust and fresh ginger. Medium-bodied with well-played freshness accenting the creamy texture and quiet intensity of stone fruit flavors, it delivers a long, minerally finish.”
91+ points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, April 2018
“From the ‘true’ Sonoma Coast on Camp Meeting Ridge, so-called because local Kashaya Indians and trappers once traded there. A subdued nose leads onto a palate that spells ripeness and power, countered by vivid freshness on the fluid, concentrated palate. A hint of smoke – this was fermented and matured in French oak – rounds out the rich palate, with ripe stone fruit peeping through alongside zesty, ripe lemon peel.”
90 points, Decanter, May 2018