June 22,2021: For our 10th Leaderboard, we are singing the praises of Ceritas. This winery is fast becoming one of our favorites for Chardonnay.
Ceritas sells out instantly on their mailing list, and a few lucky retailers (AWCO!) can secure small quantities. We are excited to offer two special Ceritas Chardonnays...the Chablis-like "Marena" from the Sonoma Coast and an age-worthy gem from the coastal Trout Gulch vineyard in the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Brainchild of husband-and-wife duo John and Phoebe Raytek, Ceritas is first and foremost a celebration of the "vineyard." The couple prides themselves on their intimate knowledge of their vines and believes that the quality of the fruit is everything. Phoebe is a Sonoma native having grown up in the famed Porter Bass family and heads up the farming operations of all the Ceritas properties. John brings his culinary expertise to the winemaking side but insists that all the important work happens in the vineyard.
Ceritas Chardonnay Marena 2016
Fruit for the Marena Chardonnay is sourced from the Porter-Bass and the Charles Heintz vineyards. The Porter-Bass site is the beneficiary of cooling morning and afternoon fog which rolls in from the ocean. Charles Heintz lies east of the town of Occidental and sits just above the fog line, offering abundant sunshine with cool ocean breezes.
"Marena embodies what is so amazing about West Sonoma Coast Chardonnay. A blend of a few different sites allows for a multi-layered wine. Sites closer to the ocean deliver the minerality and snap while sites moved in a bit more deliver purity of fruit and depth of flavor. This is the wine you will want to drink while you wait for the others to come into their own." John Raytek
Ceritas Chardonnay Trout Gulch 2018
Trout Gulch sits a mere 3.5 miles from the ocean just outside the village of Aptos in the southern Santa Cruz Mountains at over 750 feet elevation. Uplifted oceanic sandy soils create a unique drainage sending the vines deep into marine derived sub-soils. Vines are north facing.
"Very focused nose hints of sea spray, salt, and star jasmine. Bursting flavors of yuzu lemon and flint are framed by energetic acidity. The wine unfurls slowly with refined citrus fruit laced with spice and mint. Very harmonious with a palpable sense of energy towards the persistent finish. Pure and crystalline with nothing but class." John Raytek