April 13, 2021: This week we are excited to a share a winery that is new to us and most likely to many of you- The Wines from Marine Layer.
Owner Baron Ziegler, a Minnesota native, is not afraid to push boundaries. His interest in wine started back when he was 15. He went straight from collecting and selling baseball cards to buying Bordeaux futures. Eventually Baron and his Bordeaux escaped Duluth for Boston where he snuck his way into a job at a wine shop, despite being a few years below the legal drinking age. Fast forward through college and a brief stint working for a top importer, Baron finally found himself where he always wanted to be -California Wine Country
The story of Marine Layer begins with their intimate knowledge of the best vineyard sites for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in California. Organic farming, heritage clones, hand-harvesting, and an obsession for quality guide their path. Every bottling of Marine Layer is produced in tiny quantities, some as small as four barrels. They have spared no expense to make wines that will compete with the very best Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs in the world.
The 2019 Carina Rose of Pinot Noir (beyond the super cool bottle) is one worth stocking up on as we move into warmer weather.The rows of vines for Carina are all young explicitly picked early for optimal ripeness and farmed with the intention for Rosé. This wine is bright fresh and energetic.
Charles Heintz and Gaps Crown are certainly two of the more coveted high quality sites for Chardonnay (and Pinot Noir). While many producers source fruit from these sites, the price point is generally a-lot higher. The 2018 Charles Heintz Chardonnay tends to lean to a lighter style: pale yellow with tinges of gold. Aromatics of white peach, white flower and beeswax. The 2018 Gaps Crown Chardonnay is yellow-gold in color offering high-toned aromas of kaffir lime, lemongrass and a fresh line of acidity and a distinct saline quality with a generous mouthfeel and well-integrated oak.
The 2018 Lyra Pinot Noir is the inaugural vintage for this wine sourced from a selection of barrels from vineyards hailing primarily from four sub-AVAs of the Sonoma Coast. In the glass this wine shows pale ruby red with an explosive nose of rose hips, fresh strawberry, and hints of Asian spice. In the mouth, you’ll find lifted flavors of black cherry, cedar, and hints of orange peel. Suitable for everyday drinking.
In contrast the 2018 Gaps Crown Pinot Noir is concentrated and broad-shouldered. Black fruits dominate the mouthwatering palate, showing flavors of boysenberry and ripe plum. The lush mouthfeel and complex finish help to showcase the dynamic balance of grace and power often attributed to this hallowed, wind-swept site. Drinkable with some air on it today, this wine will age gracefully for years to come.