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Today's Wine:

2013 Calstar Chardonnay

2013 Calstar Chardonnay Indinoli Vineyard, Sonoma Coast

2013 Calstar Chardonnay Buy it for a friend!
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Today's Wine Comments:

90 points Wine Advocate | 150 cases produced | Gold Medal Winner

Attendees of the Sonoma County Harvest Fair—a local contest that remains one of the state’s most prestigious—were surprised that a coveted Gold Medal went out to this under-the-radar Sonoma Coast gem.

At just 150 cases, the production of this cool-climate Chard is enough to keep the wine and the winery behind it a well-kept secret regardless of medals and accolades. But industry veterans with an eye for focused yet rich and full-bodied Chardonnay have long sought out Calstar’s limited releases. The 2013 more than resembles a Flowers Chardonnay, and that shouldn’t surprise a soul. The wine was made by Rick Davis, who developed his palate and style under Flower’s own Greg LaFollette.

Sourced entirely from Indinoli Vineyard—one of the chilliest sites in the chilly Sonoma Coast AVA. This Chard was 100% barrel fermented, with complete malolactic fermentation, both of which to add to this wine’s creamy, mouth-coating texture and length.

Four reasons we love it:

  • The 2013 vintage for Sonoma Coast Burgundian varietals was rated 95 points or “Superb” by the Wine Enthusiast.
  • Three unique vineyards in the Sonoma Coast AVA were picked as sources for this small-production Pinot, each contributing its own character and nuance. The Indinoli is known for bright aromatics and firm acids. The Black Night Vineyard provides deep, dark notes of earth and spice. Finally, the Vining Vineyard, famous for high-quality fruit, supplies notes of blackberry and warm leather.
  • Owner and winemaker Rick Davis launched his Calstar Cellars with a focus on producing small lots of food-friendly wines designed for the table. He studied under Flowers’ winemaker Greg LaFollette before consulting with Londer Vineyards and several local wineries, always wanting to strike out on his own eventually.
  • The winery is not named for the state of California or any of its universities but for the two cats (Callie and Star) who share a home with Davis and his wife Lynn.

Straw green-yellow in the glass, this rich Chardonnay embodies what was a near-perfect vintage for coastal Sonoma Coast vineyard sites.  The nose is focused and precise – green apple, Meyer lemon, kiwi and kefir lime.  Supporting notes of toasted shortbread, vanilla and cut grass round out the aromas.  On the palette, clean citrus zest acidity balances out the full body and rich fruitiness.  The barrel fermentation lends to a creamy, luxurious texture and a hint of sweet baking spices.  The finish lingers with wet rock, pineapple and key lime.

A life-long interest in fine food and artisan craft led, Proprietor and Winemaker, Rick Davis to the wine industry.  With graduate work in soil sciences and his first experience as a cellar-hand for Rivendell Winery, a small winery in New Paltz, NY, he quickly learned the trade and excelled to Winemaker.  In order to pursue this newfound passion, his move to Sonoma County, CA left him in the perfect place to master winemaking and focus on Pinot Noir.

Rick has spent 20 years improving his process through experiences with Flowers Winery under Winemaker, Greg LaFollette, and as Consulting Winemaker with Londer Vineyards (2005-2011), Halleck Vineyards, La Czar Vineyards, and Alcina Cellars and developed Calstar Cellars, his own label, as an extension of these relationships.

He specializes in cool climate varietals like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and has worked with many of the top producers on the Sonoma Coast.  Rick’s passion is to produce high quality, food-friendly wines that can be shared at every table knowing the bounty of the vine.

Why Calstar?

We are often asked about our brand name "Calstar" and for all of you who are wondering I'm not a Cal grad, nor is the brand named after the State of California.  Calstar Cellars is named after Callie and Star, two of my wife's studio cats (she is a ceramincs artist) who were around when I was started the label in 1999.  That year, after bottling wine that we stored in our back yard under a tree, both cats, but Star in particular, also selected this as the best place to hang out and watch birds while soaking up warmth.  One afternoon while Lynn and I were trying to come up with a brand name and watching the cats hang out we came up with the alliterative (and memorable) name of Calstar Cellars. 

Our relationship to animals is wonderous thing and we do hope that our wines find as ready a home in your hearts as these two neighborhood cats found in ours.

Try this with lobster, scallops, roasted chicken, or a tangy goat cheese and hazelnut salad in a citrus vinaigrette.

Wine Ratings

92 Insider Points

GOLD MEDAL - 2015 Sonoma County Harvest Fair

Very Good- Wine Enthusiast

Wine Reviews

A Star is Born, It's Sonoma Coast Chard.

It took me a few years to warm up to California Chards. I was a French-loving snob, and I didn't know what I was missing. California Chards can have just as much character as a delicious Burgundy, Calstar's Sonoma Coast right there among them. I'm a camper with this wine.

It starts of with an oak & fuji apple nose. On the palate, it shows juicy peaches, pear, star fruit, a hint of minerality and an oaky undertone. It finishes with medium length, the fuji apple coming out clean. I'm happy with my dive into the world of Cali Chards, I highly recommend this for all you white wine lovers out there. 92 Points - JZ December '17

"This wine offers a generosity of caramelized, toasty oak before presenting full-bodied richness and concentration in baked apple and pear flavor. A note of sea spray complements the fruitier aspects and gives a hint of minerality."- Wine Enthusiast

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