California pioneer Sonoma-Cutrer, located in the heart of the Russian River Valley, has announced the Sonoma-Cutrer 40th Anniversary Chardonnay as part of its annual Winemaker’s Release series.
Arriving in market beginning in May, this commemorative bottling celebrates the winery’s 40-year milestone in winemaking, and represents a final collaboration between its founding and current winemakers.
To create this year’s Winemaker’s Release, Directors’ of Winemaking Bill Bonetti (1981-1990), Terry Adams (1991-2010) and Mick Schroeter (2010-Present) worked with Chardonnay Winemaker Cara Morrison (2005-Present) to blend a chardonnay.
“The 40th Anniversary Winemaker’s Release showcases Sonoma-Cutrer’s Chardonnay style of crisp acidity balanced by ripe fruit and oak complexity,” says Morrison. “Collaborating so closely with Bill, Terry and Mick was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It is a privilege to dedicate this beautiful wine to our visionary founding winemaker Bill Bonetti, who passed away peacefully just a few months after blending, and to continue to carry on his vision.”
In selecting fruit for this wine, winemakers chose grapes from three closely spaced blocks of Sonoma-Cutrer’s estate vineyards — Les Pierres, The Cutrer, and Vine Hill. In the cellar, Grand Cru winemaking techniques were used, including minimal settling, bâttonage and sur lie aging for 10 months. The wine was fermented and aged in new and used French oak sourced from the Orleans Forest in central France.
Sonoma-Cutrer’s longtime partners the Gauthier family purchased, split, milled and seasoned the wood. Under the winery’s guidelines, the barrels were produced by Remond, Rousseau & TW Boswell Cooperages.
Sonoma-Cutrer’s Winemaker’s Release 40th Anniversary Chardonnay presents aromas of ripe pear, citrus zest and baked apple, the company reports, with light mineral notes and a touch of matchstick for complexity. Layers of spice, caramel, nougat and pie crust are integrated throughout. Melon and Bosc pear along with lemon meringue flavors mingle with hints of nutmeg, clove, toasted nuts and oak, the company adds. The wine has a creamy mouthfeel highlighting a signature citrus acidity.
Sonoma-Cutrer’s Winemaker’s Release 40th Anniversary Chardonnay (13.9% ABV) will be available for a suggested retail price of $69.99 at select retail locations — as well as directly from the winery.
In celebration of their 40th Anniversary, Sonoma-Cutrer has also launched an online consumer photo contest, “Share Your First Time” (With Sonoma-Cutrer). Participants enter by sharing a photo and story about their first time tasting Sonoma-Cutrer’s wines or visiting the winery, for a chance to win a trip to Sonoma County, CA during harvest. A panel of judges will select a winner to receive a four-day, three-night round trip to experience California’s wine country and Sonoma-Cutrer. For entry and complete rules, click here.