2016 Roald Wine Company, Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast.
The beautiful Roald Sonoma Coast Chardonnay is one of the brand new set of wines from winemaker Greg Nelson, who gained experience in both the cellar and the lab at multiple wineries, after moving to Sonoma, including legends Ramey and Martinelli, and he also assisted with the founding Conarium Wines before starting his solo effort label Roald Wine Company. This 2016 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay comes from hillside fruit that is grown on a mountain vineyard that overlooks the Petaluma Wind Gap, where, according to Nelson, they are constantly bathed in a gentle sea breeze. The cool coastal weather allows for a long hang time and the development of complexity in the grapes, which this lovely Chardonnay shows with a concentration of flavors that explode on the medium/full bodied palate. Layered and toasty this 2016 is hitting a really good point of youthful freshness and depth with apple, pear and lemon fruits leading the way with a tough of honeysuckle, vanilla, pie crust, clove and key lime. The coastal influence and maritime climate helps acidity along the unique semi-volcanic soils that includes a unique deposit of petrified wood adds a sense of spice and mineral intensity.
Nelson was born in Indiana and went to high school in New York State near Buffalo. While attending college in Madison, Wisconsin, he frequented a wine shop where he was introduced to wines from Europe and California. He developed a passion for wine, but started first in Biology, getting a PhD in the field at UC San Diego, where he also discovering the sweet taste receptor and the umami taste receptor, earning many accolades and scientific awards like being a Beckman Scholar with the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, a Hewitt Fellowship, and publication in leading scientific journals! Greg, recently started the Roald label, which is named for his father who he admired greatly and was responsible for his interest in the sciences and heavily influenced him with a positive outlook, a quest to be the best he could be and a calm methodical approach to like and it’s opportunities. Well priced for the quality and style with good racy energy this barrel fermented and aged Chardonnay is everything it is supposed to be and more, drink it now and over the next 2 to 5 years and with roast chicken, soft cheeses and or richer sea food, fish and lobster dishes. This wine, the Sonoma Coast Chardonnay and the Roald Pinot Noir are wines to search out and this is a label to keep an eye out for.
($24 Est.) 91 Points, grapelive