96PTS
The Tasting Panel
93PTS
Wine Enthusiast Advance Buying Guide
93PTS
JamesSuckling.com
91PTS
JebDunnuck.com

2021 The Key

Chardonnay
Sonoma Coast
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About this Wine

The Key embodies everything that we know about making great Chardonnay.  On the palate, this magnificent Chardonnay is extremely creamy and rich, with notes of floral gardenia that envelope.
the senses.

Last Call

96 Points

“Winemaker Heidi Bridenhagen sources grapes from three renowned vineyards and the winery’s best barrels. A chorus of Meyer lemon and zingy pineapple rings true on the nose, with pitch-perfect presence on the palate. Ethereal and streamlined with honeyed cashew, lime chiffon, and sweet basil.”
Meridith May
The Tasting Panel, March 2024
Tasting Notes
Tasting Notes
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Accolades
Accolades
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Winemaking
Winemaking
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Vintage
Vintage
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Vineyard
Vineyard
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Tech. Notes
Tech. Notes
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additional notes
Tasting Notes

The 2021 The Key exudes tropical aromas of lemon, lime, and fresh pineapple juice. A gentle note of orange peel further underscores the exotic nature of this Chardonnay. The palate is extremely creamy and rich, with notes of floral gardenia that envelope the senses. As you taste the wine, it is vibrant and refreshing, striking an artful balance between energetic acidity, a rich creamy mouthfeel, and lush layers of delicious fruit.

Accolades
  • 96 Points: Meridith May The Tasting Panel - March 2024
  • “Winemaker Heidi Bridenhagen sources grapes from three renowned vineyards and the winery’s best barrels. A chorus of Meyer lemon and zingy pineapple rings true on the nose, with pitch-perfect presence on the palate. Ethereal and streamlined with honeyed cashew, lime chiffon, and sweet basil.”

  • 93 Points: Jim Gordon Wine Enthusiast Advance Buying Guide - April 2024
  • “Green apple and lemon zest aromas lead to lightly buttered toast, baked apples and lemon meringue in this medium-bodied, well-balanced and appetizing wine. It’s something fresh and elegant to begin a dinner party.”

  • 93 Points: James Suckling JamesSuckling.com - November 2023
  • “Precisely polished and balanced aromas of sliced yellow pears, acacia and freshly peeled apples followed by sour cream and goats cheese with integrated toasty and nutty notes. Flinty minerality, too. Medium body with delightful acidity. Nicely framed wine that is harmonious. Drink or hold.”

  • 91 Points: Audrey Frick JebDunnuck.com - July 2023
  • “Pouring a slightly deeper golden hue, the 2021 Chardonnay The Key is expressive and offers more concentration in its aromas of banana peel, pithy citrus, and melon rind. Full-bodied, with a creamy texture, it is opulent throughout the palate, noted with lemon custard, frangipane, and baked apple. The richest and most rounded of the whites by far, with a long finish, it’s well-balanced for this more hedonistic style. Drink 2023-2028.”

Winemaking

The grapes went directly to press as whole clusters where they were gently pressed in order to maximize quality. This provides a distinct mouthfeel and texture. After settling, the juice was racked into French oak barrels for fermentation. This wine spent its entire life in barrel where it completed secondary malolactic fermentation. It was aged for 17 months in 31% new French oak and 54% once-filled oak. Each barrel was hand selected as a component of this blend. To further increase richness and body, the lees were occasionally stirred. Deemed aged to perfection, it was bottled on March 1, 2023.

Vintage

We pride ourselves on working with growers who know the land intimately. Vintage after vintage, the partnerships we have with our growers provide us with beautiful fruit. Among its key vineyards, this blend combines fruit from three of our most prized sources; Sangiacomo Vineyards, Dutton Ranch, and Dale Ricci Vineyards. Each component is carefully selected by our winemaking team to create the harmonious symphony that is The Key.

Vineyard

We are now in our seventh year of crafting master blends of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. We named these wines The Loch and The Key, both as a nod to our founder Steve MacRostie’s Scottish heritage and to his early experiences as a cryptographer in Europe for the U.S. Army. Combining decades of winemaking mastery with our rich history on the Sonoma Coast, The Loch, and The Key are consummate blends, artfully crafted from our best blocks and barrels of wine. “Our goal is simple, but not easy,” says Winemaker Heidi Bridenhagen. “We search our cellar for our most beautiful wines of the vintage—stirring wines that sing on the palate. Then we begin blending.” Like a secret code unlocked by our winemakers, The Key embodies everything that we know about making great Chardonnay.

Technical Notes
  • composition:

    100% Chardonnay

  • alcohol: 14.1
  • cases made:

    361

  • bottling date: 03/01/2023
  • aging:

    Aged sur-lie 17 months French oak: 31% new; 54% once-filled.

  • fermentation:

    Whole cluster pressed then racked into French oak for primary and malolactic fermentation.

additional notes
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