In 2017 vines leapt into action with replenished water tables and full reservoirs after years of drought. Vegetative growth early in the season was strong, but not excessive, and crop yields were moderate to heavy in some areas. Ripening accelerated in July and vineyard sites across Sonoma County were looking like they would be ready to pick at a similar time. This compressed harvest for most but we found a healthy difference between our coastal properties and those slightly inland. Harvest saw a severe heat wave which caused concern in warmer areas but the coast stayed relatively protected and delivered typical acid-driven fruit with good phenolic ripeness. The entire harvest wrapped weeks before the devastating 2017 North Bay fires.
The Charles Heintz Chardonnay is one of those wines we always wish we had more of and the 2017 is no different. This wine is gorgeous. White flowers reach out of the glass like jasmine or potato vines growing up a trellis and the palate is a smooth yet rich expression of tropical and mineral flavors. The weight and texture of this wine is gracefully balanced by the acidity and what feels like a never-ending finish. Can I just keep drinking? Charlie is a good friend of ours and his Chardonnay is just one of those classics that is hard to beat. This vintage feels richer than other years but without the extra weight. It flows and lingers on the palate so smoothly that it really is hard to resist. That’s Heintz for you…