I think this Ceritas Chardonnay could be a 20+ year wine.

2011 Ceritas Chardonnay Peter Martin Ray - USA, California, San Francisco Bay, Santa Cruz Mountains (9/5/2020)
This has put on some weight with time, and shows better at cellar temperature than refrigerated. It still has that piercing acidity it started with years ago, but the zesty lemon and grapefruit have muscled in, plus a little butterscotch oak. The smokey reductive notes have moved into the background and provide complexity rather than distraction. At nine, it’s still young. I think it could easily improve for five or more years and last another decade or more.

What do you guess might be better about this wine in 5 or 10 years than today?

I personally would worry the possibility of improvement is not worth the oxidation risk. But I do love it when aged wine gambles pay off too.

I had my last 2011 PMR back in 2016 and my note says it was starting to fade. My favorite of their wines was the Heintz vineyard. Could definitely see that going 15+ years.

Like Scott, I had one in 2016 and it was definitely in a dumb phase. Had my last in 2018 and it was amazing. Wish I had another!

I have never noticed any Ceritas Chardonnays to be that long-lived. Mine, though well-stored usually fade at 8-10 years to a shadow. Not sure why this one would make 20 years.

It’s still pretty primary at 9 years, and I recently had their Porter Bass Chardonnay from 2007 that was fantastic yet not at it’s apogee. I drank through most of my bottles as I thought the fruit would never shine through the piercing acidity. Now that the fruit has come out of it’s shell, I regret not saving more. I think the PMR will reach an apogee in a few years, but still provide enjoyment past 2031, although mine will be long gone.

I haven’t opened one that was past prime yet, but the only ones I’ve tasted with over 8 years were all 2011’s, and one 2007 PB. I still have several 2010’s. I’ll open a couple soon and see if my longevity impressions of the were unique to the 2011 wines.

Great info, Warren. Thanks.

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From Ceritas wine dinners at The Heirloom Cafe in SF and the Porter-Bass Winery we had several older vintages of Ceritas chard and each one was still young and vibrant. What I like most about John’s chardonnay is that it improves dramatically (like Warren’s 2007) with time when so many simply age but don’t add complexity.


What I like is that, in general, the lineup of chards drinks well from youth to aged. Here is my note on the 2007 PB Chardonnay:

3/31/2020 Cork came out clean, long. On the nose lemon/citrus and slight forest floor hinting at its age. Color is starting to take a bit of brown tinge with typical chard yellow. The scent jumps out of the glass almost as if a five year wine. Youthful. The taste is round and even chewy with nice acid bite to mid palate. Alcohol noticeable because fruit has taken a back seat slightly. Just a beautiful wine with it easily lasting to and past 2025. Borders on corton charlemagne but without the acid cut. Drink now or wait. Outstanding. Maybe 1 to 2 hour decant but try it from the start. Memorable.