“Smooth rounded layers of stone fruit are complemented by well-integrated oak and bright bubbling acidity in this well-made, complex white wine. With a hint of sea spray, it is aptly named, showing earthy elements of its cool-climate soul.” -Wine Enthusiast
Seafall is an interpretation of the sandy earth, rolling fog, and late-ripening vines of the West Sonoma Coast, one of California’s most extreme regions for grape growing. The Seafall Chardonnay is balanced, complex, and brimming with vitality.
Heintz Vineyard is one of the closest sites to the ocean in the Sonoma Coast AVA, resting at the top of the second ridge from the Pacific. The vineyard’s proximity to the ocean is immediately evident in the glass. Minerality on the nose is followed by layers of citrus, red apple and lemon curd. Hints of butterscotch and a thread of ginger, cinnamon and spice underscore the aromatics. The palate offers round, creamy texture and a mid-palate refined by French oak, with a lengthy finish uplifted by a generous amount of natural acidity.
Chardonnay ripens later at Heintz than other vineyards in the blend and tends to have a higher level of natural acidity, lending a more austere, Chablis-like character. A combination of nutrient-poor, fine sandy loam soils, fiercely cold air, and thick fog from the Pacific pushes the vines to struggle, concentrating their flavor in fewer grape clusters. The balance of the blend comes from Morelli, Dutton and Sullivan vineyards, cool-climate sites located in proximity to each other within the Sonoma Coast.
Each vineyard was hand-harvested at sunrise and whole-cluster pressed to stainless steel tanks, where the juice was allowed to cold settle overnight. The wine was fermented entirely in French oak barrels at cool temperatures, before aging for 14 months in mostly neutral and second-use French barrels with only partial malolactic. The lees were stirred every month to build complexity and texture.
Slow roasted chicken with citrus and olives or Chicken piccata pair well with Seafall Chardonnay. Also, pan-fried trout with butter, lemon, and capers bring out the racy acidity and flavors of our wine.
From the brink, the outer edges of convention, comes a collection of wines that defies the commonplace. Wines born from sites that push their vines to struggle. Sites that compel their grapes to earn every nuance of flavor, every layer of character.
Fringe Collective is a study of extremes and the pursuit of balance along the coast of California. Begun as a passion project by winemaker Sebastian Donoso and viticulturist Ben Bycznski in 2015, the Fringe Collective explores and highlights vineyards on the brink, the outer edges of convention, and brings forward a collection of wines that defies the commonplace. The wines of Fringe Collective exemplify the passion and potential of California’s most exacting and demanding vineyards. By highlighting the single vineyards of Bien Nacido and the west Sonoma Coast, where the climate imbues and pushes the grapes to earn every nuance of flavor and every layer of character. A restrained winemaking approach lets these vineyards speak through the wines and helps reimagine the possibilities of storied dynamism of California Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
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@ilCesare Hey ilCesare - the most hallowed tastemaster supreme: I just wanted to thank you for your dedication and crazy track record of service to this community! Thank You! And thanks to @chipgreen for his tag-teaming service too!
Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County 2017
Good day everyone! Thrilled to be a Lab Rat for Friday’s Casemates offer. I do like Chardonnay, so I was looking forward to trying this one.
I chilled the wine overnight and took it out of the fridge 20 minutes before opening. I roped in my family members to participate in the tasting.
Pouring into the glass, the wine was clean, clear and medium gold in color.
On the nose, there was a lot going on. Apple was dominant, my family members detected pear, nutmeg, wildflower honey, with a sort of smooth and creamy texture. There was also a definite funk coming through as well.
On the palate, we got a hit of saline, and then some pineapple and more warm spice. That funk came through on the finish as well. My daughter said she kind of digs it – I thought the taste was quite unique, more crisp than too oaky or buttery.
We did a cheese pairing first; Cypress Grove Brie with Meyer Lemon and Honey. This was an awesome pairing – the richness of the brie softened the acidity in the wine, and toned down the alcohol. With dinner, we paired it with a pasta dish – Bucatini with Chicken and Fontina. This wasn’t as great a match – we probably should have made some trout instead.
In summary, I’d plan to purchase this wine – we loved it with the brie and it’s a fun and funky wine to add to our rotation. Thanks to Alice and to Casemates for the opportunity!
@kaolis also, and not meant as a negative but it appears this is being produced under the Fetzer umbrella, both Fetzer and Fringe Collective are under the bigger umbrella of Concha y Toro. Well it was Fetzer, kind of still is. As of August 2, 2022 Fetzer will be operating under the name Bonterra Organic Estates, that being another Concha y Toro holding.