TN: 2018 Ceritas Chardonnay Carex (USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast)

  • 2018 Ceritas Chardonnay Carex - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (2/11/2021)
    Dissenting view from most in CT here - there are some good components, but the mid-palate is distinctly watery/weak. It then finishes up with a whimper, as if it just runs out of steam. What started promising, ends disappointing. Can’t really sugar coat it. Swing and a miss by the usually flawless Ceritas.

Posted from CellarTracker

This comment was the catalyst for me to open a bottle.
Pop and pour. Served at cellar temp.
I agree with this note. Good bright citrus on the intro but this falls flat. Not much depth.
A bit boring.
I am a fan of the Ceritas line-up but this one does not deliver the goods.
Even the best don’t get a hit every at bat.

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I saved some for tonight. No improvement. A real disappointment, but as you say, nobody’s perfect.

Had it tonight and I would tend to agree. I think I can see what he’s kind of going for, but it just feels a little diluted. Still, I can see this being pretty appealing on a hot summer day.

Will hold mine for better times? Their Charles Heintz knocked me out

Recent bottles of Ceritas PMR Chard have been fantastic for me.

Any experiences with the '18 Porter-Bass Chard?

Not quite yet. Was letting mine sit for a while before I try one, but I may move it up in the queue (and it’s a long queue) based on the Carex.

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Was hoping that several months in the cellar would see this settle in a bit. Opened one last night, and it was just as disappointing as my first bottle back in early February. Watery/thin still the most distinctive characteristics.

Too bad.

One bottle left. Open soon to be rid of it, or let it sit for a few years taking up space…decisions.

You got me worried.
Will try one in the next few days.
Luckily, I only have three.


Did you ever try the Zephyr, David? That’s my favorite.

No. I am a Porter Bass fan.

Personally thought the Z is sorta like an in-between PB/TG.

But yeah Carex was not worth it.

After reading this thread I’m glad I haven’t purchased any Carex. The other Chardonnay’s have always been great especially the Charles Heintz and Porter Bass.

2018 Ceritas “Carex” Chardonnay
Very light, pale yellow color.
Perfumed tropical fruit nose with lemon and seabreeze undertones.
Pure, light bodied, simple pineapple/grapefruit entry led to a rather short finish.
Definitely not one of Ceritas’ better efforts and a disappointment.
Drink up.
[85 pts]



…and for some reason, I ordered the 2019 Ceritas Carex that arrived today. I will open one up this weekend to see what differences the vintage provides.

I went to look for some reviews beyond CT. The CT notes are generally favorable (average 90+ ratings) other than David’s Rieslingfan and my notes and now TTT’s thoughts.

The Ceritas newsletter provides John and Phoebe’s insights:
It’s cold here, despite being a little further east than Charles Heintz or Porter-Bass. Sitting low in the valley puts this vineyard close to the daily ebb and flow of coastal fog. The fog spills into the vineyard early in the evening and leaves late morning, leaving just a few hours to absorb the sun. The vineyard is planted using the Old Wente Hyde clone at high density (approx. 5000 vines per acre) which results in small vines that need to ripen a smaller amount of clusters. The increased vine to vine shading creates a cooler environment to ripen grapes. Coupled with the meager soils, one thinks higher acidity and
fresher fruit flavors – this is what we are looking for in Chardonnay. We could not be more excited about working with fruit from this site.

K&L published the reviews from Robert Parker and Vinous:

92 points Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
The 2018 Chardonnay Carex opens to deeper tones of mushroom, earth and wet hay with touches of lemon peel and saline. The palate is medium-bodied and gently rounded with earthy character and juicy freshness, finishing long and energetic. This very Chablis-esque cuvée will require another few years in bottle to show its best. (EB) 92+ (7/2020)

92 points Vinous
A new wine in the Ceritas lineup, the 2018 Chardonnay Carex is bright, airy and super-expressive, even in the early going. Citrus, white pepper and floral notes give the 2018 a real sense of brightness to match its mid-weight personality. Best of all, the Carex is one of the more approachable wines in this range today. Its balance is simply impeccable. The Carex is sourced from a parcel at DuMOL planted with Wente Clone Chardonnay in tight meter by meter spacing. (AG) (4/2020)

Tastes are subjective.

92 points is the new 85.

What a difference a vintage makes.
The 2019 Ceritas Carex arrived a few days ago and I decided to open one up and check on the 2019. I have had one 2018 that I found light and uninspiring.
The 2019 was (is) quite good. The mineral flinty note stood out.

2019 Ceritas Chardonnay Carex - USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (11/14/2021)
Pop and pour and tasted initially at room temperature and then with more of a slight chill.
Straw color.
Nose of citrus peel, sea spray and flint.
Nice steely and crisp wine with a fresh citrus profile and a wet stone/mineral element. Touch of green apple skin seems to give texture as well.

Glad the 2019 was better (still doesn’t sound great), but the 2018 was a train wreck. I wonder what the folks at the winery think.