New Releases: Sojourn Cellars Chardonnays

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sojourn Cellars is a Sonoma producer known mostly for their fruit-forward yet site-differentiated Pinot Noirs. But in the past couple years they've release Chardonnays for the first time, sourced from several of the same vineyards where their Pinots come from.

It's common for Sonoma producers to specialize in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Producers like Littorai, Rochioli and Kistler come to mind.

See also: Littorai Visit and Tasting Report

Even Kosta Browne is making a Chardonnay these days, so it's not surprising that Sojourn would eventually branch out into the variety. But what would a Sojourn Charonnay be like? And would it appeal to folks like myself who adore Sojourn's Pinot Noirs across a number of vintages and bottlings?

See also: Interesting times at Kosta Browne

I tasted 3 of Sojourn's Chardonnays from the highly acclaimed 2012 vintage. Near-ideal conditions led to abundant crops. In some cases, I've seen this result in thin wines lacking vibrance, but top producers effectively managed yield levels to produce concentrated wines with finesse and elegance. These 2012 Chardonnays from Sojourn are an example of that.

Like with the Sojourn Pinot Noir, wines produced from each vineyard show enjoyably distinct characteristics.

Here are my notes...

2012 Sojourn Durrell Vineyard Chardonnay
14.3% Alcohol
274 Cases Produced
$48 Release Price

Brilliant light golden color with a tinge of green and appealing clarity especially considered it was bottled unfined. There's an attractive bright citrus note on the nose that transitions brilliantly to the palate with a soft edges and a hint of vanilla and a satisfying finish. As compared to the 2012 Campbell Ranch, the Durell lacks the feral notes present in the Campbell and is fresher and more appealing to me overall.

91/100 WWP: Outstanding

2012 Sojourn Sangiacomo Vineyard Chardonnay
14.1% Alcohol
300 Cases Produced
$45 Release Price

Visually, this is spun gold with a hint of verde. Aromatically clean with citrus and tropical notes. Medium-full bodied. Ripe pears, crunchy apples, and vanilla notes with a mouth-filling finish. Rich yet pure. Nice stuff.

90/100 WWP: Outstanding

2012 Sojourn Campbell Ranch Vineyard Chardonnay
14.1% Alcohol
174 Cases Produced
$45 Release Price

Light/bright gold in color. On the nose, there's a hint of a wild feral note that's not uncommon in this category. Behind that I get pears, and golden delicious apples. The mouthfeel is satisfyingly medium-full bodied. The flavors on the palate trend towards the same fruits evident on the nose, but they're as they'd taste if they were made into pie-filling but tasted cold. Citrus and tropical notes linger on a finish of medium length.

88/100 WWP: Very Good

Conclusion and Recommendations

From a pure enjoyment perspective if you like Sojourn's Pinot Noirs but don't necessarily like Chardonnay these wines probably won't convert you into a Chardonnay lover. But as someone who enjoys a lot of Sojourn Pinot Noir I can say I liked these Chardonnays quite a bit. They're well made. But variety preferences due to flavor profile run deep and I'm still very much a Pinot guy.

Nobody runs a better list than Sojourn. Free shipping on 6+ bottles. 10% off on 12 or more bottles. Great value every time. I never have to think twice before placing another order. Check out their mailing list here.

Samples for review.

Check back soon for a report on newly released 2012 Sojourn Pinot Noirs. I'd love it if you subscribed to the site for future updates.

Question of the Day: Have you tried Sojourn's Chardonnays yet? If so, what did you think?


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