I’m in love with the boys at Banshee. But it’s purely wine-related, I assure you. How can I not be when they wrap everything I love about Sonoma into bottles of wine? Skeptical though you may be about a new-ish winery’s appellation series Chardonnay — I assure you, the 17 vineyard sites are anything buy crammed into the taste. Winemaker Noah Dorrance and team know how to show enough restraint to truly showcase –and enhance — the best qualities of the fruit. Cheers to Banshee Sonoma Coast Chardonnay.

About the Wine: 2015 was a hard year because it was just so darn hot, and the Banshee Chardonnay was a victim of that. In fact, the guys say they experienced a lot less fruit on some vines, while others experienced shatter. But the quality of the grapes that did grow that year was perfect.

Banshee 2015 Chardonnay is made from 100% Chardonnay grapes harvested from the Charles Heintz Vineyard allotment, Wildcat Mountain Vineyard in Petaluma Gap, and Bohemian Green Valley along the Sonoma Coast — all delightfully cool(er) temperatured areas. I’m not sure the amount and type of oak used here, but I know that, in general, Banshee is quite gentle when it comes to oak fermentation, using neutral or seasoned barrels for a moderate amount of time.

14.1% ABV

Flavor Profile: Light, bright, a happy yellow on the pour. The initial smell may seem stereotypical of apple, but swirl and stick your nose in a little deeper. This wine has more tropical fruits than you’ll want to give it credit for. Let the wine settle and smell again — there’s an underlining softness (if smells can be soft), as if a bit of nuttiness or cheesiness on the nose as well.

Time to sip. And what I love is the beautifully strong acidic line. Zippy on the tongue straight away, but there’s an enveloping linoleic smoothness that keeps the overall experience calm. There’s just a hint of oak that keeps the wine firm and structured. All these textures act in tandem, so the experience is balanced from start to finish.

Food Pairing: This is a fun wine. I had the 2015 Banshee Chardonnay with a veggie pizza. I loved how the melty, cheesy goodness complimented the textures of the wine. Meanwhile, that strong acidic line did well to cut through the (*ahem*) fat. Add a few chili flakes to the pizza, and the wine will have quite the cooling affect as well. (Although I do recommend serving this wine at proper white wine temp: around 50 degrees Fahrenheit).

More Info: If you haven’t yet read my reviews of Banshee Wines Sonoma County Pinot Noir and Banshee Wines Marine Layer Pinot Noir, please do so — it’s a fun comparison between the two. I have a full review of Banshee Wines Healdsburg tasting room to come on a different site (link will be posted when available).

I found the Banshee Sonoma Coast Chardonnay at Whole Foods (Sale Price: $20). For more information about Banshee, their wines, and to purchase wine directly, please visit the Banshee Wines website.

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3 Comments on Banshee 2015 Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

  1. never have had the Banshee chard….a huge fan of the pinot noirs…I think what drew me to them is that Katie Wilson is a consulting winemaker along with Ross Cobb…..Katie’s own label, Larue has a very nice Sonoma pinot noir…..she has her hands in many projects.

    • Nice. I didn’t know about Katie. Will have to look up that Larue label. I’ll be honest, while I love this Chardonnay as a good daily drinker, where the boys really shine is their Pinot Noir. Marine Layer is probably my fav, but if you ever have a chance to taste some single-vineyards *mwah!*

      • I have had a few of the pinots….all stellar…I also have the cab sauv lying around….Katie Wilson is all over Sonoma County, she may also be working with Anaba and Claypool.

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