Marine Layer Chardonnay Gap's Crown Vineyard 2018
VINTAGE : 2018
COUNTRY : USA
REGION/APPELLATION : California, Sonoma Coast
VARIETALS : Chardonnay
VINEYARD : Gap's Crown Vineyard
From the incredible team that built the Banshee Wines label comes Marine Layer. The name pays homage to the thick blanket of fog that pours in from the Pacific Ocean most summer mornings through the Petaluma Gap in the Sonoma Coast. 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’ve spared no expense to make wines that will compete with the very best Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs in the world.
The Gap’s Crown Vineyard has established itself as one of the most coveted and high-quality sites for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in all of California. It’s extreme rolling slopes provide protection from the cold marine air that channels from the ocean through the Petaluma Wind Gap. The surrounding geography also creates a natural fog pocket around Gap’s Crown. The lingering fog that is trapped, especially towards the end of the growing season, allows the fruit to ripen slowly, developing sugar and phenolic ripeness in unison.
Soils here are Goulding-Toomes Complex, which is well-draining, iron-rich, brown clay loam with significant volcanic rock. The vineyard was planted in 2002 to Clones 76 and 95 at an elevation of 600 feet with a southwest aspect.
Fruit harvested by hand at night on September 25th. Whole cluster direct to press, after which the juice chilled and settled overnight. Racked to Damy and Fouailly barrels, 35% new oak. Spontaneous/native fermentation in barrel over 10-14 days. The wine underwent 100% malolactic fermentation with gentle lees stirring throughout the spring. Wine ages for 14 months until gently racked off of lees and the blend assembled. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Yellow-gold in color with a light-green tinge around the rim. The nose offers high-toned aromas of kaffir lime, lemongrass, and gunflint. Anchored by a fresh line of acidity and a distinct saline quality, the multilayered palate shows flavors of Meyer lemon, granny smith apple, ginseng, and shortbread. The generous mouthfeel and well-integrated oak highlight throughout the long, mouthwatering finish.