Peters Family Winery
2005 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
Chardonnay •Sonoma Stage Vineyard
California: Sonoma County: Sonoma Coast
What we say
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OUTSTANDING CHARDONNAY ALERT!
We always hand pick the best wines we can find for you, and we hate boring Chardonnay. Today we bring you another excellent and big Chard from Wine Spies favorite winery, Peters Family Winery
Mission Codename: Setting the stage
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Return to Peters Family Winery. This time retrieve their single vineyard Carneros Chardonnay
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Peters Family Winery
Wine Subject: 2005 Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma Stage Vineyard
Winemaker: Douglas Peters
Backgrounder: The Wine Spies have always been huge fans of Peters Family wines. With three reds, but only one white, under our belts, we felt that it was time to feature another of Doug’s white wines. This time around we send Agent Red to visit with Doug Peters. The famous Sonoma Stage vineyard, where today’s wine was born, was planted in 1999 by the Hyde family located at the southern end of the Sonoma Coast Appellation. The vineyard sits between Petaluma and Carneros, a cool site with substantial marine influences that keeps yields low, and flavors intense. Read Agent Red’s tasting notes and mission report below
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Brilliant Yellow-gold with glittering golden edges. This wine shows perfect clarity and concentrated color right out to the edges of the glass. When swirled, the surface appears tight and springy. Long after it settles, skinny and evenly-spaced legs take a long time to emerge before the move slowly down the glass
Smell – On opening, this wine presents a massive rush of rich aromatics. Bold aromas of acacia, pear, Meyer lemon, yellow mango, oak and earthy vanilla lead the charge. After some swirling, the wine softens and opens up to reveal follow-on aromatics of green apple, soft spice, green fig, subtlest burnt vanilla and wet river rock (minerality)
Feel – Slippery and round on entry, then slightly dry and grippy at the edges, where it dries the tongue and cheeks slightly. The wine shows off a full body that fills the palate as medium yet structured tannins take hold
Taste – Rich and bold, with a delightful balance of fresh fruit fruit and fresh herbs, against a richer and more serious Burgundian style with flavors of tart apples, zest, yellow mango, mixed melon, green pear, sweetwood with a rich minerality and acidity
Finish – This wine finishes very long and clean with long-lingering flavors that are supported by the great acidity and mineral components
Conclusion – This is a big, bold, rich and delicious Chardonnay! Each sip invites further exploration and conversation. This is no light-hearted wine as many California Chardonnay may tend to be. This wine has a big character and is all heart. I recommend tasting the wine on opening, and then again after about an hour in the air. Also experiment with different drinking temperatures. With these variables, you will find that the wine expresses itself differently, delivering different flavors, textures and even aromatics. I recommend this wine to anyone that enjoys unique – and delicious – Chardonnay
Douglas Peters is one of our favorite winemaker friends, always making his great wines available to you, our Operatives. What follows is our original mission report, in which Agent Red hunts harder than usual for a great wine:
One of my most valued Assets, Codename: Valley Girl, alerted me to Peters Family Winery recently. After an undercover visit to the winery tasting room, I needed no convincing that this wine was a wonderful treat that our Operatives needed to be brought up to speed on.
Not to boast, too much here, but you know that when I have my sights set on a wine, procuring it is not usually a problem. Our reputation often proceeds us and wineries make their wonderful wines immediately available to us.
The mission to procure this wine, however, was somewhat more difficult; Peters Family winemaker and head honcho, Douglas Peters was secreted away in an undisclosed location – but I was determined to track him down so that we could negotiate a small procurement for our Operatives.
A flurry of email and telephonic subterfuge ensued and I tracked Doug to his secret lair south of the border. Because his wines are that good, I spared no expense and called on our resident pilot, Agent White, to fuel up the Wine Spies Spy Plane. Reluctant to spend the money for a long flight like this one, Agent White did take a bit of persuasion but, in the end, complied with my request; He was easily convinced after one small taste of this wine.
While I didn’t have an exact location on Doug, I did have the name of the village. After a harrowing landing on a small dirt strip in high crosswinds (an Agent White favorite!), we were able to convince the local constabulary to help us locate Doug. It only too a few cases of wine to do the trick.
We found Doug on the beach, recognizing him from his photo on his website. A glass of wine in hand, Doug seems to be enjoying the sunset.
Wasting no time with subterfuge, I got right to the point.
“I’m sorry to bother you on your vacation, Mr. Peters. I’m Agent Red, Wine Spy, and I am here to ask you for a your wine.”
“Sorry, I don’t link to share glasses with strangers. You know, germs”
Then a smile spreads across his face and he claps me on the shoulder (a feat that, at a head and a half taller than me, requires that Doug stoop slightly to reach me). “I’m just having fun with you,” He says. “Come on, have a seat, I’ll pour you a glass of my wine.”
I explained that is was because of this same wine that I made this expedition.
“It’s gooooood, isn’t it?” he asks.
My turn to smile.
We enjoyed the rest of the bottle, chatting about his wines and his approach to winemaking. Doug creates wines that are certainly of California, but also in a more Bordeaux style, giving the wines a great balance between old world and new. This, in my opinion, is a great way to approach winemaking as it delivers the best qualities of these two winemaking styles – without being at odds with each other.
After some deft negotiations, I had secured a small allotment for you, Operative, and then Doug excused himself.
“Here’s another bottle for you,” he offered. I’m off to watch the lunar eclipse tonight. It’ll be 3 years until we see another one. See you back in the States!"
With that, he left me there to further ponder his wine. Doug’s love for his craft shines through in this wine, which exhibits balance, brilliance and a depth of character that I find uncommon.
What the winery says
Awards & Accolades:
91 Points – Wine Enthusiast Magazine
Silver Medal – North of the Gate Wine Competition
About This Wine:
This delicious golden blonde chardonnay reflects its Dijon clone heritage, hand-crafted Burgundian vinification, and Sonoma Coast single vineyard terroir. On the nose the wine exhibits an array of fragrant floral, lemon, honey, and sweet spice notes. On the palate focused meyer lemon, mango, honeydew, vanilla, fig, mineral and sweet spice notes are all seamlessly blended. Barrel fermentation, extended barrel aging on the lees, and 100% unfiltered bottling contribute to this chardonnay’s rich, lavish flavors and texture. Smooth and beautifully balanced now in its youth, this chardonnay is sure to evolve into an even more special wine with cellaring.
About The Winery:
Peters Family Winery is dedicated to producing compelling, extraordinary wines which reflect their single vineyard terroir and meticulous vinification. Our partnerships with world-class vineyards, and our commitment to intensive hand-crafted production, have produced wines which showcase great flavors, exceptional complexity, and superb balance. All of our wine operations are conducted with great care at our winery, located in the town of Sebastopol, Califonia, in the heart of Sonoma county. Our continuing goal is to spare no effort to produce truly great wines. Cheers!