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Haarmeyer Cellars - St. Rey Chenin Blanc 2021 (750ml)


Quantity in Stock: 5
Producer Haarmeyer Cellars
Country United States
Region California
Varietal Chenin Blanc
Vintage 2021
Size 750ml

Haarmeyer Cellars Description

Haarmeyer Wine Cellars is a family team - Craig, Alex, Kelly, and Marian Haarmeyer. Started in 2008 with fruit from a vineyard near the town of Galt, CA, Craig was interested primarily in making wines using Spanish and Portuguese varieties, mainly because of the dry climate and the proximity of this vineyard to his home and winery in Sacramento, CA. He felt the place seemed right for the numerous varieties of sun loving, hardy grapes planted there. This led him to consider other sites and he noticed how the wines could define and express the terroir of the region. Soon he began using the phrase "Sacramento terroir" to describe his early efforts.

Their primary focus is on Chenin Blanc and how it expresses itself, the vineyard, and the cellar. As wine drinkers they gravitate to Chenin Blanc wines irrespective of origin - Classic Loire Valley wines, Savennières in particular, and South African old vine wines are constant reference points. The way Chenin can manifest itself is miriad and compelling. It has naturally high acidity and handles oxidative aging in such a way that the wines are refreshing and sour in their youth and nutty and complex in their old age. Chenin also seems to always express its varietal characteristics and its terroir. Chenin’s Chenin-ness shows itself even when the influence of the cellar is present. This grape is fascinating and their journey starts and ends there. They are committed to exploring Northern California terroirs through the lens of Chenin Blanc.

They have six vineyard sources for Chenin: three in the Sacramento River Delta, one in eastern Lodi, and two in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. They work only with farmers who raise organic fruit and in the cellar they do as little modern processing as possible. Every lot is foot trodden and basket pressed without any corrections to chemistry or sulfur additions. The juice is exposed to oxygen and racked to neutral large format barrels and casks for unaided, native yeast fermentations. The wine remains in its fermentation vessel until it is assembled for bottling. All wines are ML complete and bottled without fining or filtering.

Chenin may rule the roost but they also make a very special old vine Riesling, a Nebbiolo, and Zinfandel.

Wine Notes: Vineyard - Sutter Ranch Vineyard This vineyard is located deep in the delta in the southernmost part of the Clarksburg AVA where the average temperature is lower than that of the northern end and of the Lodi AVA to the east. The wind howls through the vineyard bringing cool marine air that tempers the summer heat. We make several passes each year to pick just the right fruit at just the right time. The first pick is for Methode Traditionelle and/or Pet-Nat. The second pick is for both Pet Nat and the barrel fermented still wine. The third pick is for the young Chenin that we call 'SRV'. We look for a nexus of acidity, sweetness, flavor, and phenolic ripeness in order to produce Chenin Blanc that exceeds the expectations of Sacramento Delta wine.

Cellar Our basket press holds one ton of macerated fruit, so we foot tread the clusters and include the stems. This is increasingly challenging as our production grows, because it means we are faced with pressing 7-8 tons per pick. It takes us two days to do that and then we do it again a week or so later at the current production rate. We use no sulfur at the press and give the juice plenty of oxygen so we can oxidize the phenolics and end up with a sturdy and stable wine. The must is fermented in a variety of vessels, without adding cultured yeast; roughly half neutral barriques and half stainless tanks. An egg and a few new barrels are used occasionally. ML is conducted natively, too. The wine remains on gross lees, no batonnage, until we bottle in February or March. We add minimal effective sulfur at bottling which is 20-40ppm depending on pH. And we coarse filter (2 micron) if the wine is deemed too murky for general consumption.


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