Martha Stoumen 'Honeymoon'
Origin: California, USA
Grape Varietal: 75% Colombard, 25% Chardonnay
Aromas of candied melon and alpine herbs embrace a taste of almond skin. Bright acidity and a rounded texture offer a balanced, easy-going finish.
**We still have a handful of 2019 bottles in stock, with bottles from the 2020 vintage arriving starting in June. Both are lovely! Try them side-by-side if you can, for a fun experiment!
The star of our Honeymoon is the 70 year-old Colombard from dry farmed, head trained vines. When young, Colombard can throw a large crop and has largely been written off as a blending/filler grape, or has been used traditionally for distillation into cognac. However, with old vine age, dry farming, and by allowing a long hang time, Colombard can be as complex as its parent, Chenin blanc. Supported partners Chardonnay and Chenin blanc add extra texture and layers to the 2020 Honeymoon.
The 2019 growing season was marked with abundant sunshine—but no rain—as the 2020 vintage developed within the buds on the vine. As the 2020 harvest came, so did drought (and the worst fires and smoke we’ve ever seen). The vines felt this stress, and it marked the fruit with soaring acidity and very concentrated flavors. The Honeymoon 2020 is a wine of beautiful extremes, born out of this stress. I picture the spirit of this wine as a female warrior leaping down from the sky with lightning streaking from her hair (I know, wild right?). The 2020 is dramatic and gorgeous.
The three varietals in Honeymoon 2020 were fermented separately, each in neutral French oak barrels. At crush, both the Chenin blanc and Colombard grapes were pressed immediately, settled and then racked off heavy less, and barrel fermented. Prior to pressing the Chardonnay we first food-tread the grapes, a gentle technique to slightly increase the tannin extraction of the juice (and textural expression of the wine). The wine spent 11 months on fine lees, developing a rounded richness to balance the bright acidity, before final blending and bottling. Fun fact: we reserved a small portion of the just-fermenting Chardonnay to naturally inoculate our sparkling Solera Chardonnay base wine.
- Colombard from Ricetti Vineyard in Redwood Valley; planted in 1948; dry farmed (no irrigation); certified organic.
- Chenin blanc is from King Vineyard grown with compost teas and without pesticides and herbicides, clay soils.
- Chardonnay is from Hawkeye Vineyard in Redwood Valley; organic.