Out of stock
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Out of stock
100% Chardonnay, Old Wente Clone
Fort Ross-Seaview, Sonoma County, CA
94 points – Wine Enthusiast
93 points – Wine & Spirits
93 points – Jeb Dunnuck
92 points – Vinous
The continued success of the Chardonnay vines on this property translate to the huge demand for this elegant cool-climate wine.
Steady weather conditions in Fort Ross-Seaview in 2018 allowed Red Car to capture the full potential of this site by crafting a Chardonnay that displays bright and racy acidity, expressive floral aromatics, and elegant citrus fruit.
The Estate Chardonnay was harvested from vines planted in fractured marine sandstone, weathered over millions of years from an uplifted seabed known as the Ohlson Ranch Formation. This soil offers the same viticultural advantages as the often referenced Goldridge series found in the lower West Sonoma Coast elevations around Sebastopol, yet differs by including less clay and more stone than sand in its composition.
The estate vineyard is planted to an Old Wente clone that was selected over the course of decades by Larry Hyde specifically for the small size of its clusters and mineral flavor profile. These differences are revealed in this distinctly unique and terroir-driven Chardonnay.
Winemaking at Red Car is led by Tanner Scheer. Tanner spent six years at Ampelos Cellars, learning on the job and eventually working his way up to Assistant Winemaker in 2011. Leaving in 2013, he joined mutual friends for harvest at Dragonette Winery in Buellton, CA before accepting a position at Liquid Farm. But Chardonnay was calling him. “Chardonnay is one of my favorite varietals and I was looking for a place that could produce Chardonnay of true character, not manipulated in any way. That boils down to soil and climate.” Tanner interviewed with Red Car in June 2015 and joined the team two weeks later.
At Red Car, Tanner adheres to simple but strict principles. “I believe in minimalism,” he explains. “Don’t manipulate the fruit in the winery. It’s up to the vineyards, the climate, the soil and the farming practices we choose to employ. What’s important for me at a fundamental level is to represent each varietal in its truest form. That’s a foundation of any of our wines.” The Red Car team is a close-knit family and Tanner especially values the camaraderie and teamwork. “We are all connected to these vineyard sites and these wines. We’ve all bought into what we are doing here, so it becomes a symbiotic relationship. The wines represent us and we represent the wines,” he says. “We rely and count on one another to come through with the parts that are on each of our plates so we can come together with a common purpose and shared vision of where we are going.”
Tanner credits his father with instilling in him how important it is to love what you do. “I’ve never seen another human who just jumped out of bed every day—2:30 in the morning even! That love and passion he has for cowboying, for me it metamorphosed to the wine industry. That type of energy, that approach to life and work. I also learned from him the importance of loyalty, respect and being accountable.” Tanner Scheer lives in Petaluma, CA with his dog, Button. Describing himself as “an avid, avid lifelong fisherman,” if Tanner isn’t working, he’s fly fishing or catching bass from his kayak.
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