2007 Peay "Estate" Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

SKU #1047273 94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Hazy yellow. Deeply pitched scents of sweet butter, poached pear, peach pit, tarragon and iodine. Chewy in texture and packing serious punch, with sweet orchard and pit fruit flavors and a suave undercurrent of smoky lees and minerals. Surprisingly lively on the finish, which leaves tangy mineral and lime pith notes in its wake. Very complex, fresh Chardonnay.  (5/2009)

K&L Notes

Peay Vineyards on the Sonoma Coast is often regarded as one of the most exciting sources of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and even Syrah grown on sunny, but cool slopes just a ridge away from the Pacific Ocean. This 2007 is a blend of Dijon clones 76, 95, 96 with California heritage selections Robert Young and Hyde. The winemakers note that in this wine, "The mouth is quite similar to the 2004 Estate Chardonnay and in our mind rivals the 2004 as our best to date. It is crisp, elegant and focused. A pure shot of Bosc pear, lanolin, peat and wet stone aromas coalesce on the mid-palate and linger. The natural acidity provides a refreshing and clean finish that will make it perfect at the table. The battonage and secondary fermentation notes are in the background, revealing a wine of distinct personality and vitality."

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Price: $34.99
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- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, M√Ęcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:

Sonoma County

- Second in fame only to Napa, this "other" valley offers just about every climate and topography imaginable. From its cool and fog-enshrouded coastal regions on the far west, to the sprawling Alexander Valley on the boarder of Napa and the many little dips and peaks in between, Sonoma has been a vital wine-grape-growing region since the mid 1800s. Important sub-AVAs include Chalk Hill (known for chardonnay and sauvignon blanc), Dry Creek Valley (where zin is king) Knights Valley (largely cabernet land), Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast (both celebrated pinot and chardonnay zones).