Sunday, September 9, 2018
Maritana Vineyards/Donald Patz /Three World Class Chardonnays
We have been enjoying the great new wines from Mr. Donald Patz,and today we will visit with Donald and open three amazing Chardonnays. First a little on this new label and then we will invite you to shar a glass of wine with us as we listen to this great new feature. A new (2017) and exciting producer of Russian River Valley Chardonnay and Pinot Noir under the direction of longtime vintner Donald Patz. His three-decade association with Sonoma and Russian River Valley grape growers has given him access to some of the top vineyard sites in the valley. Utilizing these vineyard sites he and his team are crafting compelling Chardonnays and delicately perfumed Pinot Noirs. After 29 vintages with his previous company Patz & Hall, Donald Patz moved on in May of 2017. It was a perfect moment to quit or take some time off. That’s not really his style. Mr. Patz hit the ground running on May 1 to implement a new wine brand. “I had some things I still wanted to do in the wine business. I love sharing my wines. This time being free to rethink and take my wines in a slightly different direction was exciting and refreshing!” We decided to make up a name that would represent our thoughts about Sonoma County/Russian River Valley since all our initially considered names had already been used! The process went something like this… Sonoma = Oceans and Mountains Oceans… MARItime Mountains… MonTANA MARI-TANA MARITANA It took longer than it looks. It turns out that this is a woman’s name. Not so much in the US but in some of the Latin countries and more oddly in Russia. Apparently, there was a popular song in Russia in the 1970’s or early 1980’s with the Maritana name that inspired its use. Our first Chardonnay is 2017 LA RIVIÈRE. CHARDONNAY from the Russian River Valley. There is a lot of pear, apple, citrus to go with a gentle background note of lees & barrel spice. Has excellent acidity & presents a bright fully refreshing character. This is the name (meaning the River) for our blend of vineyards In 2017. It is about 55% (Dutton Ranch) Shop Block 1967; 42% Big River Vineyard; 3% (Dutton Ranch) Hansen Hill Vineyard Chardonnay and includes – Old Wente Clone from both Hansen Hill and Big River, Clone 04 from Big River and a combination of an old Massale selection and Dijon Clone 76 at Shop Block 1967. It is entirely barrel fermented in 90% once-used French Oak barrels and 10% new French Oak barrels – sur lies aged – 100% ML complete. The percentage of new oak for future vintages will probably be no more than 10%. The blend came together about two months ago and has really married in the barrel. There is a lot of pear, apple, citrus to go with a gentle background note of lees and barrel spice. It’s got excellent acidity and presents a bright fully refreshing character. Our second Chardonnay is the 2017 Russian River Valley DUTTON SHOP BLOCK 1967 Chardonnay ($70.00). Our mini-experiment at native yeast fermentation using six barrels of Shop Block 1967 vineyard juice was a resounding success. Those six native yeast barrels formed the core of this single vineyard designate wine along with four new French Oak barrels and two additionally selected barrels to round out this 300 case lot. The native yeast lot was so successful that there is no doubt it will become a major component of the 2018 vintage wines for Maritana Vineyards. Planted in 1967 to an unknown Massale selection of Chardonnay with a partial interplant in 1999 of Dijon Clone 76 the Shop Block 1967 from Dutton Ranch’s oldest vines pose an exciting opportunity to use produce a distinctive wine. This was fermented and aged in 66% once-used French Oak barrels and 34% - new French Oak barrels. In their 50th year of life these old vines dug deep into the soils at Shop Block to deliver a fabulous expression of Russian River Valley Chardonnay. At the same time both delicate and concentrated, aromatic and pure, rich and refreshing focusing more on the floral/mineral end of the spectrum rather than the tropical fruit end of Chardonnay. Production: 300 cases Third we have the 2017 Russian River Valley DUTTON HANSEN HILL Chardonnay ($90.00) This is a hillside vineyard nearby the Shop Block 1967 site. Planted entirely to Old Wente clone Chardonnay and strictly farmed to the winery specifications this may be/probably is one of the absolute top Chardonnay sites in the Russian River Valley. We have a mere 1.8 acres of this amazing hillside under contract for Maritana Vineyards. We expect this tiny parcel to produce somewhere around 300-400 cases (2.5-3.0 tons per acre) per year. In 2017 we used 73% once- used French Oak barrels and 27% new French Oak barrels to ferment and age the Hansen Hill. It is opening slowly in barrel featuring great precision on the palate and shimmering kumquat and mango fruitiness. The small amount of new oak used refocuses the wine on its mineral and spring flower characters. Our experience with Chardonnay tells us that this wine will be quite long lived for a Russian River Valley Chardonnay possibly performing well in 10-15+ years if properly stored. Production: 350 cases i think it's time to relax and enjoy our new feature with Donald Patz and Maritana Vineyards!Cheers! Are you ready?? Click here and join us as we enjoy the wines of Donald Patz and Maritana Vineyards .