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Our Bell Mountain Estate ranch stretches from Alexander Valley in the north to Russian River Valley in the south and borders Chalk Hill. This unique location affords us a multitude of microclimates and well-drained, gravelly-clay soil with a compacted layer of volcanic ash underneath to grow our grapes. Of our 55 acres of planted vines, less than 10% are Chardonnay and all of those are on the Russian River Valley side of our estate. There’s a strong sense of place and personality in our wines…something that we pride ourselves on.
The 2018 Chardonnay offers the upfront citrus elements of lemon and orange blossom that we often find in our See’s clone, but we also find intense pome fruit aromas of pear and baked Red Delicious apple. These aromas are supported by notes of caramel, vanilla, and crème brûlée. On the palate the wine shows bright refreshing acid, a mineral note, and flavors of lemon pie with a rich buttery crust, which begs for a second sip.
The winter gave us less rainfall than normal. Almost all of the precipitation came in the early spring so the vineyard had a full profile of water to start the growing season. We saw good early growth, a few warm periods, but no severe heat spikes. The key ripening period in late summer and early fall was cool and sunny, delaying harvest by a week but allowing full flavor development. We were blessed with a vintage we always dream about: abundant fruit of excellent quality.
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Medlock Ames Winery was formed in 1998 by college best friends, Chris Medlock James and Ames Morison, who set out to produce award-winning wines from Bell Mountain Ranch.
After their school days, Ames and Chris continued as roommates where they would often share bottles of wine at their apartment in New York City. One night after a little too much wine, a seed of an idea was planted to produce the kind of elegant Bordeaux wines they were drinking but from California grapes. They packed up, moved to California, and began searching for the ideal property.
After looking at over 100 different properties, Chris and Ames drove the windy private lane off of Chalk Hill Road where Bell Mountain towered over a few dozen acres of neglected Merlot vines. The beauty of Bell Mountain and the surrounding land spoke to them and Medlock Ames was born. That was 1998 and the deep commitment to preserving Bell Mountain and being a vocal supporter for the kind of light-touch farming practices that being organic means was part of our values ever since. Today, these friends remain singularly focused on quality through mindful and organic farming along with a light touch in the cellar.
Since our beginnings almost 20 years ago, everything we do at Medlock Ames is driven by our values. This is core to who we are and is what drives us each day.
In the spirit of full transparency, we share our values statement. We are open, honest, authentic with each other and with our members and guests. From our organic farming practices since day one to creating a diverse and inclusive work environment we are fully committed to our values.
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