Marie Johnston Wines

2005 1st Edition Signature Series

Chardonnay •Edna Valley

California: Central Coast

Offer Expired:Oct 27, 2007 at 11:59 pm
Avg. Price

What We Say

WILDFIRE ALERT: Today, we are donating $1 per bottle sold to the American Red Cross, in support of those affected by the fires in southern California. We will sustain these donations, in partnership with our wineries, for as long as possible. Enjoy your wine purchase today and thank you for doing some good!

PROMOTION CODES: Please note that we had a small mixup on our promotion codes. Please us the code SPYSHIP for free ground shipping on six or more bottles. Alternately, the code SPY007 will give you 10% off your purchase. The codes cannot be combined.

Mission Codename: A Wine By Another Name

Operative: Agents White & Red

Objective: Investigate Rumors of New Juice From Gryphon Wines

Mission Status: Ongoing…

Current Winery: Marie Johnston Wines (Gryphon Wines)

Wine Subject: 2005

Winemaker: Marie Johnston and Jonathan O’Bergin

Mission Brief:

Upon hearing that Gryphon Wines of Monterey was working on a Top Secret project to release some great new wines that cherry picked the best grapes at the peak of ripeness, carefully blended and offered at a great price point we had to investigate. We were most intrigued since we really loved the Gryphon Pinot Noir. Below follows the results of our initial tastings…


Chardonnay, the greatest of the dry white non-aromatic grapes is always a tough wine for us spies to review. There is so much mediocre Chardonnay out there we are always hesitate when a new one is presented to us. So many of the Chardonnay’s are, to quote wine tasting guru Sir Gary Vaynerchuk, dominated by the Oak Monster. In drinking this wine, it reminds us of why Chardonnay is the great grape of white burgundies and is used in Champagne. Classic in flavor, nice balance, good finish – a true deal of a wine.

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Distinctive clear golden-yellow with almost white edges.

Smell – Crisp aromas of tart granny smith apples with the signature oak (but not overpowering) of a good Chardonnay plus a little kicker of mild fresh-cut grass.

Feel – Cool and crisp, bright flavors that smooth with a creamy buttery feel as it coats your tongue.

Taste – This wine opens up with great crisp and ripe fruit flavors of pears and apples then melds in the oak and butter flavors that are characteristic of all good Chardonnays.

Finish – A surprising nice and smooth finish. The oak doesn’t overpower you in this wine which makes in very drinkable.

Conclusion – A great Chardonnay, and even better at the price. A very solid effort for this 1st edition of Chardonnay from Marie Johnston. Us spies will be looking forward to trying future editions as well.

Wine Spies Vineyard Check:

The Edna Valley region (Central Coast, San Luis Obisbo, CA) can be seen in this satellite photo.

What the Winery Says

Marie Johnston Wines

Marie Johnston Wines is the latest label of great wines from the folks at Gryphon Wines. If you love Grypon, be sure to try some of their latest creations.

About This Wine

My cool climate central coast Chardonnay is true to its roots. Heady with lemon zest and spice it surprises with a smooth yet crisp quality that is supported by sweet ripe apple and nutmeg notes on the finish. This Chardonnay has enough to stand on its own. Terrific paired with prosciutto and melon. Marie Johnston is delighted to promise “No corked bottles”!

Marie Johnston Wines

My husband and I decided in January of this year to launch the Marie Johnston Negociant label because we had come across some remarkable wines in barrel. Wines we felt, with assiduous ‘cherry picking’, careful blending, our nurturing and at the precise moment of peak flavor, bottled under screw cap, would yield delicious wines at a great price. This is our First Edition.

We are using my name, Marie Johnston, because there is a 250 year old history of negociant winemaking in my clan. Early in the 18th century, the Johnston Clan established themselves as the leading exporters of wine from Bordeaux. This tradition continues today.

While I do not claim to be part of the Bordeaux Johnston’s, as member of that clan with strong personal ties in Bordeaux and California, I give you my commitment to continue the Johnston tradition of excellent quality and value with my California wines.

For those of you who are interested in more information on the history of the Johnston’s and their contribution to building the Bordeaux wine trade, I suggest you get your hands on a copy of Knee Deep in Claret by Billy Kay and Cailean Maclean. While this book is currently out of print, we are hoping to make a few copies available along with our other Cool Stuff. Stay tuned!

Technical Analysis

Acidity: 3.4 Ph

Alcohol: 13.5%

Appellation: Central Coast

Sub-Appellation: Edna Valley

Bottling Date: June 06, 2007

Fermentation: Stainless Steel

Months in Barrel: 8 months

Oak: 70% American Oak & 30% French Oak

Release Date: September 15, 2007

Special Designation: We can’t tell you where!

Time In Oak: 8 months

Varietal: 100% Chardonnay

Winemakers Notes: We selected this wine, the product of a well known winemaker and a GREAT vineyard, because of the classic Chardonnay qualities of the wine in barrel. From a lot of 39 barrels, we chose 18 to bring you this delicious 1st Edition Chardonnay.

Year: 2005

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