By Elin McCoy
Winemakers like to joke that only the rich should risk planting vines on the far Sonoma coast, where fog, chilly wind, and up to 80 inches of rain a year roll in from the Pacific.
This dramatic, coolest-of-the-cool coastline is fast becoming California’s Côte d’Or, a sweet spot for great pinot noir. But the less-hyped chardonnays are also brilliant, with the elegance and zing of premier cru white Burgundy, at a lower price. The 2012s and exciting 2013s, just released, are stunning.
That’s my takeaway from the cozy West of West festival in Sebastopol earlier this month, where I moderated a panel of opinionated winemakers.