Porter-Bass "Estate" Chardonnay 2017
Russian River Valley, California
"Living wine from living soil." That's the motto at Porter-Bass, one of the pioneering and most-desired sites for Chardonnay in the Russian River Valley, in Sonoma County.
From the aroma to the texture and finesse, this wine exude class and grace. In the glass find a beautiful copper-lemon color, with notes of ripe pear, nectarine, lanolin, and honeysuckle. Oak use is judicious, and imparts breadth and depth rather than any overtly toasty notes. A full and rich mouthfeel gives way to vibrant lemony acidity and a perfectly clean, ultimately refreshing finish. This style is so food friendly, it pairs wonderfully with richer curries, Thai noodles dishes, or sumptuous shellfish preparations.
Just a gorgeous Cali Chard in the classic California mold – not a "hedonistic" style, yet rich and nuanced all the same.
Regarded as a "benchmark Sonoma Coast vineyard hidden in plain sight," Porter-Bass has long served as a top-tier source for premium Chardonnay, Zinfandel, and more. Boutique brands across the spectrum clamor for their fruit for good reason: biodynamic pioneers Sue and Dirck Bass discovered this plot of hand just north of Guerneville in 1980 and breathed new life into the land, long before organic or biodynamic viticulture was as as widespread as today. What Sue encountered in 1980 was an eroded, barren landscape, devoid of life from decades of chemical-laden, monocultural farming.
She and her partner Dirck began an arduous four-year process of revitalizing the century-old vines of Zinfandel and converting to organic and biodynamic farming principles. Now, the farm employs a cadre of human and livestock workers, from sheep and goats to native birds and other fauna that are part of the holistic, self-sustaining, diverse ecosystem.
Their estate vineyards are only about nine miles from the Pacific and sit below the fog line, which means that the vines are regularly blanketed in that oceanic fog. Temperatures are cooler, ripening is longer and slower, and the fruit is balanced, textured, and nuanced.
The food-pairing possibilities are endless, and this wine is still a baby – watch it develop in bottle, akin to a fine white Burgundy, for the next 2-3 years!