2020 My Sister Charlie Chardonnay
91 pts, James Suckling
Sitting on the Russian River side of Bell Mountain, our Chardonnay vines are a mix of Old Wente and See’s clones that give us tremendous flexibility in the cellar. We select the best barrels to go into our signature Chardonnay. For the 2020 vintage, we’ve renamed the wine to incorporate the next generation into our story. When Chris and Bradley’s middle son would play at Bell Mountain, he wished he had a sister to be his ally in a house full of boys. Since none existed, he made one up and referred to his imaginary playmate as “My Sister Charlie”. Playing among the vines allowed him to showcase his ingenuity and spirit of adventure, the values on which Medlock Ames is founded.
The 2020 My Sister Charlie Chardonnay is a well-balanced and vibrant palate of lemon custard, caramel apple, lemon verbena, and white peach. Each sip gives you a round and lushly textured taste that is layered with green apple, grapefruit, and tropical pineapple. These fruits are coupled with a hint of clove that is wrapped with mouthwatering and silky acidity that finishes bright and clean.
With half the average rainfall during the winter and spring, there was minimal vegetative growth. Cooler spring temperatures and a spurt of heavy rain during flowering led to a very light crop. The combination of this created concentration, depth, and substantial density in the fruit. Several short heat spikes and a smaller crop load created optimal conditions for early ripening. We were fortunate to pick everything early, escaping any smoke damage from the devastating wildfires throughout California.