2021 Wonderland Project ‘White Queen’ Sonoma Chardonnay
We love the wines from former Per Se wine director, Matt Ahern. He made wines he couldn’t find on the floor and we thank him for that. Think Sonoma meets Burgundy. This Chardonnay was fermented and aged in French oak barrels and stainless-steel tanks.
Organic farming practices, hand-harvested, native yeast fermentation and minimal interventionist methods. Only 1,200 cases produced.
Out of stock
Founded in 2010, The Wonderland Project was created by wine broker and former sommelier Matt Ahern, along with the help of prestigious Sonoma grape growers. After years of selling wine to elite restaurants in the western United States, Ahern noticed a recurring missing item from most lists: high-quality wine made from impeccable fruit at an accessible cost.
Upon being unable to fill this niche himself, Ahern was inspired to fulfill the market lack himself. Today, The Wonderland Project produces Sonoma County Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from organically-farmed vineyards in Carneros. All wines are fermented with native yeasts and vinified with low-intervention methods in the cellar.
As one of the most popular grapes for growing and consuming, Chardonnay can be made in a wide range of styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. These styles can vary from a sparkling Blanc de Blanc, or fresh fermented in stainless steel, to rich and creamy white wine aged in oak barrels. While Chardonnay can flourish in many environments, in its homeland of Burgundy it can produce some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. Whereas from California it can produce both oaky, buttery styles as well as leaner, European-inspired wines. A Somm secret: the Burguny subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style with high levels of acidity. Most people who do not like oaky/buttery Chardonnay may likely enjoy Chablis. Notable regions for this grape include Burgundy (and Chablis) in France, Central Coast, Napa, and Sonoma in CA, and Western Australia. When pairing with meals, consider the characteristics, flavors, and acidity of your food first. You always want to try to match the same characteristics and intensities with your wine. No brainer pairing options include seafood, salads, and white meat. Chardonnay, with its vast versatility, is everyone’s best friend.
SONOMA COUNTY, CALIFORNIA
Unknown to many, Sonoma County located in Northern California is actually bigger than its neighbor, Napa County. Sonoma has a famous gap region, known as the Petaluma Gap, that provides a break in the the coastal ranges and is Sonoma County’s newest AVA. The “Gap” is actually a wind gap named after a coastal mountain opening that stretches east from the Pacific Ocean to the south of the San Pablo Bay. Closest to the Sonoma Coast is the famous Russian River Valley AVA known for its high-quality, elegant Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. To the north of the Russian River lies the warmer Dry Creek Valley and Alexander Valley AVA’s producing a wide range of grape varieties including excellent Zinfandels, Sauvignon Blanc, Rhône varietals (Syrah, Grenache, etc), and Cabernet Sauvignon. Other vineyard areas to watch out for premium wine are Sonoma Coast AVA, Anderson Valley, and Mendocino County.