2014 Red Car Chardonnay, Manchester Ridge Vineyard, Mendocino Ridge
92 Points, Vinous
This graceful Chardonnay was fermented in French oak to showcase its natural intensity of flavor. Its old-world Chardonnay flavors are perfectly exhibited by its high acidity and fully integrated mouth feel. This is a bright, floral, and crisp Chardonnay with flavors of Meyer lemon, Asian pear, kumquat.
Vintage and Winemaker Notes
Wild, exotic, mountainous, and perched above the San Andreas Fault, the Manchester Ridge Vineyard is like no other in California. Close enough to the sea to hear waves crashing yet high enough to rise above the fog, it yields wines of immense complexity and tension. The mountain range that comprises the Mendocino Ridge AVA, where this vineyard is located, is an extension of the Sonoma Coast range just north of the county line, making this Red Car’s only site in Mendocino County.
Blend: 100% Chardonnay
Appellation: Mendocino Ridge
Vineyard: Manchester Ridge
Barrel Regime: 12 months, 10% New, 90% Neutral French Oak
Clones: Wente, 76
Soil Type: Ormbaun Zeni Loam
Average Brix: 21.5
Total Acidity: 7.0 g/l
Production: 250 cases
Not for sale online, $696/case MSRP
About The Winery
Winery: Red Car Wine
Location: Mendocino Ridge, CA
Red Car is focused on growing Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah in a network of cold-climate vineyards on the edge of the Pacific in the West Sonoma Coast. We are hands-on farmers, part of a small cadre of wineries in our region who are fortunate to grow a large majority of our own fruit. For several years now we have worked hard to go beyond sustainability and have integrated the concepts and principles of organic and permaculture systems into our farming as we search for nature’s ideal pathways. Our wines are made in small lots utilizing minimalist intervention techniques like wild yeast fermentation, gravity flow, and natural acid.
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92 Points. The (2014) Manchester Ridge Chardonnay is a small production wine, sourced from Mendocino County set at 2,000 feet elevation. The wine begins with bright aromatics of Pazzaz [sic] apple, vanilla cream and hazelnuts. This leads to flavors of red delicious apple and vanilla bean which is underlined by lovely minerality. The overall balance and focus is outstanding. (Best 2017-2026) - September, 2017 (OB)
Red Car Chardonnay- it’s what’s for breakfast. Yum. We awoke early this morning in Florida to discover the Lab Rat bottle delivered yesterday afternoon is being offered this morning. What to do except hop out of bed, scramble some eggs with sharp cheddar cheese and a side of crisp bacon, and pour some chardonnay before heading off to work. The Red Car has a light straw color with aromas of lemon, minerality, and slight floral notes. Lemon, floral, mild minerality, and slight acid dance across the tongue. One of us picked up hints of apricot and pineapple. This is a complex and delicious chard (even at 7:00 a.m.). It paired well with the eggs and cheddar. The bacon brought out the acidity, which was pleasant without any sense of sourness. We don’t drink a lot of chard, but if all chardonnays tasted this good, we would certainly drink more. Don’t worry about this offer being a 2014 vintage. This is clearly a well crafted wine and should hold up well for a few more years if properly stored. Granted, a crack-of-dawn tasting is not the ideal way to enjoy this wine. I’ll check back in later to update with some evening pairings.
@collegebob@InVinoVeritas Yeah hopefully the pricing gods will notice this. I think it’s shown that overall sales are lower on ones that had a huge “save by buying a case” value (25-30% as this one is). I understand the whole motivation of casemates was to buy a case to save money, and share it with people in your area. But it just doesn’t seem most areas have enough potential buyers to make this practical (it’s different if you have a network of local friends and neighbors who are also interested in wine).
Or as I’ve mentioned before, if buying a case, a mix like a vertical of 2 or more years, or a mix of varietals is more appealing to me. Or even the “grab bag” ones like we have sometimes with a known mix plus one or more “mystery bonus” bottles. That’s a lot of fun.
BTW I see a Marsanne/Rousanne was mentioned earlier. Now that’s something I’m sure I’d like, or a mix case of that and chard, though I suspect people that like Marsanne/Rousanne might in general not be chard fans.
Anyone who’s had Peter’s Chards - how does this compare? The other half loathes anything remotely buttery, so I’m curious about this one given the oak aging. Sounds like a delicious buy at first glance, though.