Fall ReleaseCharles Heintz Vineyard Isobel Chardonnay
The oily intensity of our 2017 Heintz Vineyard Isobel Chardonnay takes me back to the vineyard-defining 2007 vintage, a wine that lives long in the memory. (Drink it now if you have some left!) Given its cool, foggy coastal exposition, Heintz is our final Chardonnay vineyard to harvest each year. The grapes hang on the vine for an extended period, steadily building character and richness while never losing acidity; that’s what makes the vineyard so special. The wait can be nail-biting at times, especially if an early Fall storm is approaching, but under the steady hand of Charlie Heintz, a wily old veteran grape farmer, fruit and wine quality are never less than spectacular.
The cool weather during bloom in 2017 gave us a small crop, and grape size was also smaller than usual. Thick skins packed full of aromas and flavor compounds gave us a wine full of concentration, viscosity and natural racy acidity.
Pungent lemon curd, honeycomb and ginger aromas open the wine as lemon verbena and white flower blossom notes add intrigue. The oily glycerol intensity is immediate on the palate with grapefruit, lemongrass and a hint of tropical fruit leading to a round and full mid-palate before saline oyster shell acidity takes hold. The exotic tangy citrus oil finish is mouthwatering and long.
For most vintages of Heintz Isobel, I recommend up to a decade of aging, but we should enjoy this wine on the early side for its wonderful natural viscosity and opulence. It would be a shame to wait too long and lose this character to maturity. Drink between late 2019 and 2023.
september 19th & 20th
Age of Vines at Harvest
aged 11 months in 30% new french oak hogsheads from tonnellerie acf followed by four months settling in tank.
480 cases of 750mL