2017 Keller La Cruz Vineyard Petaluma Gap Chardonnay

2017 Keller La Cruz Vineyard Petaluma Gap Chardonnay

¥6,270 (incl. tax)

Like a fine white Burgundy, Keller’s estate Chardonnay is medium-bodied, expressively aromatic, and well-balanced. This style of wine starts with its location, the rolling hills of the Petaluma Gap, where the wind and fog blowing in daily from the Pacific Ocean are defining features of the AVA. Keller’s organically-farmed La Cruz vineyard is planted to diverse clones that provide a palette of distinct aromatics, flavors or textures with which to assemble the blend. The winemaker then uses 100% barrel fermentation, sur lie aging and complete malolactic fermentation. The result is a complex Chardonnay, beautifully textured and defined by a creamy viscosity. The 2017 vintage was excellent for Chardonnay growing in the Carneros and Sonoma regions. Ample winter rains were followed by moderate temperatures for most of the summer; despite a heat wave in early September, cooler temperatures accompanied most of the harvest, yielding complex and excellent wines. Allow the wine some time in the glass to reveal layers of citrus, apple, floral notes and vanilla. 


Winery Description

Pinot Noir and Petaluma. 40 years ago, the received wisdom was that California Pinot Noir would never achieve the subtle brilliance of Burgundy and that Petaluma, home to dairy and chicken farmers, was far too cold for vineyards. Funny how things change. Indeed, California Pinots get better each year, and Petaluma may one day soon produce the very best. And that future may not be far off if the young Keller Estate continues down the path it is following.

 Keller Estate produces estate-grown Pinot Noir and Chardonnay (as well as Syrah and Pinot Gris) on a 650-acre property located southeast of Petaluma – near the borderline of the Sonoma Coast and Carneros AVAs. In these rolling hills, cooled by the fog that blows in through the Petaluma Gap as well as from San Pablo Bay, early ripening, “cool climate” grapes are the obvious choice. In the early 1980s, Arturo Keller, an auto engineer from Mexico, and his family founded the estate. They planted vineyards but sold the first vintages of Chardonnay to other wineries. Impressed by the quality of their fruit, they began making wine under their own label from 2000. Today every detail in the vineyards and winery is overseen by Arturo’s daughter, Ana, a trained bio-chemist.

 Keller Estate’s vineyards are planted in soils that show all the complexity of being a former seabed. The complexity of the wines is enhanced further by the 9 different clones of Pinot Noir, 4 clones of Chardonnay, and 2 clones of Syrah planted in the vineyards. The wines are crafted carefully and naturally in a stunning gravity-flow winery. 

But the key to understanding Keller Estate’s wines is their extreme cool-climate location. Though many vineyard areas in Sonoma and Napa Counties are cooled by fog and ocean breezes, in the Petaluma Gap the fog rolls in a bit earlier and out later; the temperature drops so rapidly, the grapes retain much more crisp acidity even as they ripen and develop rich, fruit flavors. Currently, the Petaluma Gap is within the Sonoma Coast AVA. But if the Kellers and other winegrowers continue to demonstrate the uniqueness of the microclimate and soils, it may become one in the future.

About this Wine

Country USA
Region California
Appellation(s) Petaluma Gap (Sonoma)
Winery Keller
Vintage 2017
Color White
Varietal(s) Chardonnay
Closure Cork
Volume 750ml
Bottle Size 8.5 x 30.5
Case Size 36.5 x 28.5 x 31.5
Alcohol 14.2%
Product Code KE17LCH
UPC 66223510111414
MLF 100

Owning & Enjoying

Tasting notes

92 points – Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate; 90 points – Wine Enthusiast.

Jasmine, crisp apple, citrus and honeysuckle evolve toward caramel apple, pear, white flowers and hints of butter and toast. The acidity is fresh and bright, the texture creamy and the finish long.



Following night harvesting and whole-cluster pressing, the must was transferred to French oak barrels for primary and malolactic fermentation as well as about 11 months’ aging.

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