2020 Howard Family Vineyard Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains
This sweet little home vineyard in Aptos-Corralitos was one of the greatest finds in years. This 1970s planting of dry-farmed, old Wente Chardonnay--one of the oldest plantings in the SCM AVA--and being organically farmed by local legend Prudy Foxx. There are few places as difficult to farm organically as a damp site 4-miles from a restless sea. This wine is more opulent than La Marisma, with higher pitches of jasmine flower and passion fruit commingling with barely-ripe stone fruits. The briny seashell notes, characteristic of the best wines from this area, are background players right now but may emerge to center stage with bottle age.