Lemon/straw-hued upon inspection, our 2018 vintage of this coveted chardonnay speaks glowingly to its fabled Sonoma Coast origins just miles from the Russian River and the cooling influences of the Pacific Ocean. Demure on the nose, notes of star jasmine invite inspection, giving way to hints of tropical fruit and ripe pear. The wine’s attack encourages further examination, greeting the palate with nods to white nectarine, lilikoi, sweet oak and a suggestion of (Oh!) bananas foster. Whole cluster-pressed, barrel-fermented (partial malolactic fermentation), and aged 16-months sur lie in 45% new French oak, the wine displays a notable freshness and focus through a pleasing acidity and delicate structure. Radiant with aplomb and grace, one is reminded of a young Gwyneth Paltrow in her Oscar-winning role as Viola de Lesseps in the fanciful depiction of love behind the curtain, Shakespeare in Love. Summoned by unforeseen circumstances to rescue the doomed premiere of Romeo & Juliet, Viola is compelled to walk-on to a proscribed stage debut, and does so, unflinchingly in Act-1, Scene-3,…the crescendo to this film’s fanciful narrative, that in 1999, triumphantly went on to claim seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture.