Marimar Estate Don Miguel Vineyard Acero Chardonnay 2020
Expansive aromas of green apple, lemon zest and subtle floral notes of jasmine, with notes of spice reminiscent of nutmeg. Creamy on the palate, intense but smooth, with perfect acid balance and refreshing minerality reminiscent of wet stones.
Easy to drink and perfect with foods like tapas, seafood and light dishes.
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Nestled in the rolling hills of western Sonoma County, the Russian River/ Green Valley appellation is a perfect microclimate for growing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Only 10 miles from the Pacific Ocean and 50 miles north of San Francisco, the site is influenced by the sea's cooling breezes and drifting fog. That is why Marimar Torres selected this privileged location to "export" the Torres family legacy of fine wines to California.
Marimar came to live in California in 1975. After two years of searching, she acquired the land and began planting the 60-acre vineyard in 1986. A second vineyard, in the ’true’ Sonoma Coast, was planted in 2002 and 2008 with 20 acres of Pinot Noir. This property receives an even greater cooling influence due to its proximity to the Pacific Ocean.
The wines are made entirely from estate-grown Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Albariño grapes. The two vineyards, named after Don Miguel and Doña Margarita in honor of Marimar's parents, are unique in California because they are totally European in style. The vines are trained very close to the ground on an open vertical trellis, following the slope of an east-facing hillside; the rootstocks are phylloxera resistant; and the planting density is 2000 vines per acre, four times more than is traditional in California. Such high density promotes root competition and diminishes vigor, naturally reducing the output per vine. Yields are low and labor is intensive, but the vines live longer and produce grapes with greater concentration of flavors, more refined and elegant aromas, and better balance. To contribute complexity, Marimar selected several clones of each varietal. Each clone brings different attributes to the final blend, resulting in wines with deep layers of flavor.
Built in 1992 with a capacity of 15,000 cases, the winery sits on a hill surrounded by vines. The estate is 100% solar-powered and certified sustainable by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance. The winery’s production wing is outfitted with carefully selected equipment, to allow the control essential to producing a wine based on minimal handling. Its three barrel rooms with independent temperature and humidity controls provide flexibility to experiment with various vinification techniques, in order to best express the fruit's character. The reception wing, decorated with antique winemaking equipment, furniture, and crockery brought over from Catalonia, includes a professional kitchen and a spacious dining room with a grand fireplace. The winery is open seven days a week for tastings and tours by appointment. Today, Marimar is joined by her daughter, Cristina Torres, who recently came aboard the family business.
A standout region for its decidedly Californian take on Burgundian varieties, the Russian River Valley is named for the eponymous river that flows through it. While there are warm pockets of the AVA, it is mostly a cool-climate growing region thanks to breezes and fog from the nearby Pacific Ocean.
Chardonnay and Pinot Noir reign supreme in Russian River, with the best examples demonstrating a unique combination of richness and restraint. The cool weather makes Russian River an ideal AVA for sparkling wine production, utilizing the aforementioned varieties. Zinfandel also performs exceptionally well here. Within the Russian River Valley lie the smaller appellations of Chalk Hill and Green Valley. The former, farther from the ocean, is relatively warm, with a focus on red and white Bordeaux varieties. The latter is the coolest, foggiest parcel of the Russian River Valley and is responsible for outstanding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.