2016 Mendocino & Sonoma 'Coastal' Chardonnay
Chardonnay •Manchester Ridge & Joyce Vineyards
California: North Coast
By The Class
Did we save the best for last?
We landed many a stunning sub-$20 Chardonnay deals in 2020 dear Operatives. Bluxome Street, Two Sisters, Carte Blanche, Von Holt, Oceans Churning, Nicholson Jones, Jigar, Saxon Brown come to mind. All delicious, and all delivering tremendously on the value front. Yet, there is something extraordinary about today’s offering that puts it above all else…
Does SingleThread ring a bell?
One of THE most talked about restaurants in the world since its opening in 2016, when Vogue magazine called it “America’s Most Anticipated New Restaurant” and since, they have held strongly onto well-deserved 3 Michelin stars. Still thriving in creative ways amidst the pandemic, SingleThread, as with all ritzy-glitzy restaurants around the globe had to, pared down their plans, including cutting back on exclusive bottlings for their by the glass wine list, such as Alma Fria’s Coastal Chardonnay.
Enter TWS, and you, dear Operative.
The very best of the best, be it a restaurant or a winery, follow parallel paths of achievement. Antonio Galloni’s Vinous chronicles that: “Alma Fria is entering a new phase of its life under the leadership of Carroll Kemp, who has moved on from Red Car, the winery he founded, to take over Alma Fria on a full-time basis. Kemp had previously been the winemaker at Alma Fria, so the transition should be pretty smooth… new releases are impressive, and show Kemp has a strong foundation from which to build… The 2016s are an attractive set of wines from Alma Fria.”
In essence, Coastal was specifically blended to showcase a pair of exemplary “coastal” single-vineyards, each a genuine reflection of their respective windswept regions, Mendocino and Sonoma. Manchester Ridge Vineyard makes up about 2/3 of this Chardonnay, and is the inspirational namesake for “Islands in the Sky®”, for sites that float above the Pacific fog line in this neck of the Redwoods. Joyce Vineyard similarly sits high up on the edge of the cold, cold West Sonoma Coast ranges. Together, these vineyards reflect a singular, “better in stereo” expression of authentically coastal Chardonnay.
Brilliant platinum-gold with hay and straw reflections within. The nose offers a gorgeously scented wine, with honeyed citrus, passionfruit, pineapple, hazelnuts, and liquid stones. Vibrant with the first sip, with exceptional purity, symmetry, and a formidably endowed medium body. Builds up to a viscous, intense finale, with zesty acidity and abundant lemon pith notes lingering long. Enjoy with fresh pasta cooked al dente, smothered in a rich, creamy sauce with seafood or veggies, and abundant Parmigiano Reggiano.
Hollywood producer turned cult winemaker; Carroll Kemp recalls why he partnered with Alma Fria’s Jan Holtermann well - “It was always vineyard first. This was the philosophy I held with Red Car from the beginning… The soul of the vineyards and the way that nature connects all of us; he has been putting that in the bottle. That is exactly how I think about wine and about life.”
Once a $50 “deal” on SingleThread’s all-star wine list, this epic Chardonnay is yours to steal at $19, for today, that’s over 60% savings on a TWS exclusive.
While it lasts.
Brilliant platinum-gold with hay and straw reflections within
A gorgeously scented wine, with honeyed citrus, passionfruit, pineapple, hazelnuts, and liquid stones
Vibrant with the first sip, with exceptional purity, symmetry, and a formidably endowed medium body
Builds up to a viscous, intense finale, with zesty acidity and abundant lemon pith notes
Fresh pasta cooked al dente, smothered in a rich, creamy sauce with seafood or veggies, and abundant Parmigiano
What the Winery Says
- Caroll Kemp
- 100% Chardonnay
- 70% Mendocino County, 30% Sonoma County
- Manchester Ridge AVA & Sonoma Coast AVA
- Manchester Ridge & Joyce Vineyards
- Harvest dates
- September-October, 2016
- 12 months
- 25% new French oak
- 3 barrels