Martha Stoumen Wines 2019 'Honeymoon'
Origin: California, USA
Grape(s): 75% Colombard, 25% Chardonnay
The star of Martha Stoumen 'Honeymoon' is the 70-year-old Colombard from dry farmed, head trained vines. The Colombard grapes are from Ricetti Vineyard in Redwood Valley. The vines were planed in 1948 and certified organic. The chardonnay grapes are from Hawkeye Vineyard in Redwood Valley. The vines are 40 years old, and farmed organically.
Martha Stouman, the winemaker, has this to say about this fresh & beautiful white wine:
"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. The Honeymoon, to me, is always a layered wine, where I try to achieve some tertiary characteristics alongside brightness and fruit.
We’ve always leaned into barrel fermentation, lees contact, and longer elevage to achieve these layers. In 2018, some botrytis in our Colombard allowed us to explore this idea straight out of the vineyard where ‘noble rot' on the grapes lent a unique flavor and texture.
Since there were no conditions for botrytis during the 2019 vintage, we leaned on our cellar processes to continue exploring this idea of layering. Please welcome to the stage: oxidative winemaking.
I love the wines of the Jura and some traditional Rioja whites for their nutty depth, and I felt that the existing flavors of Honeymoon could harmoniously embrace light amounts of oxidative flavors easily. So, we filled the Chardonnay barrels destined for Honeymoon once, but refrained from topping these barrels during aging. Only 25% of the Honeymoon blend, this oxidative element from the Chardonnay provides a deeper golden color, mouthwatering high tones, and that hint of hazelnut and golden apple skin."