2018 Boars' View Chardonnay
With an abundance of fruit in the vineyard and stellar growing season conditions across the board, 2018 is a formidable vintage. Given the robust crop load, we were able to do a lot of fine-tuning in the vineyard and adjust cluster counts to gain optimal ripeness and flavor complexity. Before you even approach the wine, its color draws you in with a luminescent yellow-gold hue. Aromatic notes suggest lychee, lime pith, honeysuckle, brass, and crushed rock. The mouthfeel of the wine glides across the palate with sleek, dynamic layers of jasmine, lemon oil, lilac, white pepper, and green mango. The entire trajectory maintains electric energy; a balancing act of richness and lean acidity that carries all the way through the drawn-out floral finish.
Wine Spectator headline tells it all — 2018 Wine Harvest Report: Sonoma Sings of an Ideal Year.
We heartily agree. 2018 was a winemaker’s dream. Thomas has commented the vintage benefitted thin-skinned varietals like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay that do best to stay away from big heat. Overall the season gave us warm days with no crazy heat spells or spikes that allowed for even development of sugars in the grapes and produced a decent size crop. With the full yields, we attained an optimal balance of crop load to vine vigor and we were able to hold the fruit on the vine longer for enhanced character and richness. When yields are too low, the vine does not have enough to do and the ripening pace becomes very fast and in some harvests, sugars can blow past target ripening in a single day. With the 2018 yields, the vintage provided an ideal opportunity for crop thinning and cluster selection and allowed the fruit to achieve true and complete ripeness.
The moderate temperatures offered a massive picking window that allowed us to slow roll it, pick some fruit, taste it, think about it, and pick again. We were really able to dial in the picking window and thankfully there were no 'oh crap moments' where you had to push to get everything off the vine in a snap. Early bud break, late harvest, decent crop size, and even weather.
As Thomas says, “The best vintages are the ones we do not remember. No drama, no trauma, always a very good sign.”
Rated 95 pts. I can't decide if I like the 2018 or the 2016 more, but both are brilliant wines. The 2018 Chardonnay Sonoma Coast has a slightly fresher, more vibrant style while still being packed with ripe peach, apricot, honeysuckle, and brioche aromas and flavors. Despite being brought up in new barrels, it's soaked up the élevage beautifully and is balanced and full-bodied, with terrific freshness and a big finish. It should drink well a decade or more.
— Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com