The 2012 Charles Heintz Chardonnay has a bright golden hue with pronounced aromas of ripe orchard fruit, such as green apple and quince accompanied by scents of freshly baked pear, lemon tart and marzipan. On the palate, bright acidity with delicate flavors of lemon zest and dried apricot balance the intense aromatics. This wine is showing well now and will only get better with 2-3 years of age.
Charles Heintz Vineyard sits above the average fog line at 900 feet on the second mountain ridge from the Pacific Ocean near the town of Occidental. This gives great sun exposure to the fruit leading to large contrast in diurnal temperatures, which results in intense aromatics while retaining acid structure. The age of these vines also contributes to a distinctive minerality. At twenty-five years of age, the vines’ root system is capable of reaching far down into the gold ridge soil, taking advantage of the high annual rainfall these coastal mountain ridges enjoy.
Harvest on October 21th, Heintz was the last Chardonnay to be harvested at Landmark. The fruit came in very clean and was whole bunch pressed to tank for one day settling before being racked to barrel. The juice underwent spontaneous fermentation giving great texture and aromatics to the wine. The wine went through 100% malolactic fermentation and regular battonage in the 13 months it spent in French oak (30% new).
This wine will pair beautifully with pan-roasted trout, grilled lobster, spring salads with citrus vinaigrettes and Cornish game hens.