Charles Heintz Vineyards

Owner(s) Charles E. Heintz, Karen Heintz
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Charles Heintz Vineyards

Charles Heintz Ranch, owned and farmed by Charles E. Heintz, is located on the second ridge in from the Pacific Ocean at 900 ft. elevation. The Heintz family has farmed the same coastal ridgeline in western Sonoma County for 100 years and Charles is the third generation farmer of Heintz Ranch.

Since the vineyard is a few miles from the Pacific Ocean, it offers early bud break, moderate summer days and the "Indian summer" that makes October the typical month of harvest. Soil type is Goldridge sandy loam. Total vineyard size is 55 acres: 25 acres of Chardonnay (Clone 4) planted in 1982, 20 acres of Pinot Noir (Pommard 4, 113, 115, Swan, Beringer) planted in 1996, 3 acres of Swan selection Pinot Noir planted in 2000-2001, and 2 acres of Syrah (clones 174, 470 and a field selection from Jean-Louis Chave) planted in 2002.

Charles credits Ted Lemon with teaching him how to grow quality fruit and the two have been working together for 20 years.

Bonded in 1997, Heintz produces 100% estate, ultra-premium Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah wines, each of which is usually less that 200 cases. Charles Heintz was the winemaker from 1997-2002, Kevin Kelley was responsible for the 2003-2011 vintages, and now Charles has resumed the winemaking roll using Hugh Chapelle as a consultant.

A second value-priced Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are produced under the Dutch Bill Creek label using a distinctively different winemaking process and different fruit than the Charles Heintz Vineyards label.

Grapes have been sold to Ceritas, DeLoach, DuMol, Freeman, Flowers, L'Angevin, Landmark, LIOCO, Littorai, Migration/Duckhorn, Moone-Tsai, Pierson Meyer, Porter-Bass, Rare Cat, Salinia, Suacci-Carciere, Von Holt, Williams Selyem, and Baton Wines.

The wines are extremely limited in quantity and sold through a mailing list. 877-874-3852. Personal winery visits are available by advanced appointment.

Reviewed Wines

2014 Charles Heintz Sonoma Coast Rosé of Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., pH 3.36, TA 0.65, RS 0.1%, 250 cases, $19. This rosé is made from Dijon clone 113 farmed intentionally for a rosé wine. Aged 4 months on lees with no stirring in neutral French oak barrels and 60-gallon stainless steel drums. · Moderate pinkish red color in the glass. Highly fragrant with scents of cranberry, orange peel, marzipan and vanilla. Soft and smooth with good richness of flavor on the palate, offering tastes of strawberry, cranberry and peach. Thoroughly satisfying, with a dry, somewhat lengthy finish. Score: 90. Reviewed June 14, 2015 ARTICLE »

2014 Charles Heintz Vineyards Sonoma Coast Rosé of Pinot Noir

$19. I think winemaker Hugh Chappelle has a gift for producing Pinot Noir Rosé as I find his offerings at Heintz and previously at Lynmar to be California’s best examples. The wine sells out quickly. · Modest pink in color in the glass. Aromas of fresh wild strawberries, blood oranges and peaches echoed on the palate that is vivid, bracing and thirst-quenching. Maybe the most versatile wine on the planet. Score: 90-91. Reviewed April 4, 2015 ARTICLE »

2013 Heintz Vineyards Sonoma Coast Rosé of Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.50, TA 0.64, 125 cases, $19, screwcap. A blend of two clones field sorted and hand picked followed by de-stemming with a gentle “berry popping.” Grapes are cold soaked for 3 to 4 hours and then gently pressed. Aged 4 months on lees without stirring in neutral French oak and 60 gallon stainless steel drums. Bottled January 2014. · Light pink orange color in the glass. Love the nose offering a perfume of fresh strawberry, blood orange and complimentary floral array. Interesting and complex, with flavors of red berries, melon, pear, and vanilla cream. Slightly creamy on the palate with a dry, refreshing finish. An exceptional Rosé. Score: 92. Reviewed May 15, 2014 ARTICLE »

2013 Charles Heintz “Valentina” Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.74, TA 0.54, 100 cases, $48. This wine is named after, and is a tribute to, Charles Heintz’s grandparents who first settled Heintz Ranch in 1912. This is a blend of clones and field selections grown on the Heintz Estate. Aged 11 months sur lie in 100% French oak barrels, 40% new. · Moderately light cherry red color in the glass. Aromatically pleasing, with scents of strawberry, cranberry, cherry, and sandalwood. Middleweight flavors of red berries and cherry are complimented by a welcome touch of spice and oak. Composed in a soft, seamless and easy to like format, the wine finishes with plenty of upbeat, red fruit goodness. Score: 90. Reviewed June 14, 2015 ARTICLE »

2012 Heintz Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

14.2% alc., pH 3.62, TA 0.52, 200 cases, $45. Clone 4 (Wente) on AXR1 planted in 1982. Barrel fermented, 11 months in barrel on lees with stirring 1 to 2 times per month only until malolactic fermentation complete. Aged in 35% new French oak barrels. · Light golden yellow color in the glass. A reference wine for California Chardonnay. High brow aromas of lemon, Granny Smith apple, marzipan and toast lead to flavors of lemon curd, honeyed nuts, toasty oak and a hint of tropical fruits. Polished and seductive with perfect harmony between California fruit hedonism and bright, mineral-driven acidity. Still invigorating the following day when tasted from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 95. Reviewed May 15, 2014 ARTICLE »

2012 Charles Heintz Vineyards Sonoma Coast Syrah

13.8% alc., pH 3.74, TA 0.59, 200 cases, $46. Aged 11 months on lees in 25% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Inviting aromas of purple and black berry compote with a subtle pine forest and floral scent. Very soft, smooth and elegant on the palate, with driving flavors of blue and purple berries, plum and peppery spice. Mid weight plus in heft with soft tannins, juicy acidity and a lengthy finish of impressive intensity. Score: 93. Reviewed August 25, 2014 ARTICLE »

2012 Heintz Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., pH 3.68, TA 0.56, 200 cases, $48. 100% Swan selection. Aged 11 months on lees in 40% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish purple hue in the glass. Highly aromatic, with bright scents of perfectly ripened cherry, cranberry and spice. A cherry bomb in the mouth that finds every nook and cranny, saturating the palate and holding tight through a long and mighty finish. Power without weight. Accents of spice, cola and oak add interest. The whole harmonious package. Score: 94. Reviewed May 15, 2014 ARTICLE »

2006 Heintz Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., $45. From the Heintz Vineyard in the Sonoma Coast that is better known for Chardonnay. · A dark-fruited wine with a light touch of smoky oak. Juicy, restrained and nicely weighted in the mouth. There seems to be a hint of Brett in the nose that some drinkers will find appealing. Reviewed November 17, 2008 ARTICLE »

2005 Heintz Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

A ’Wine Gone Wild’ with plenty of exotic, deep and dark fruit, musk and earthiness. Reviewed July 30, 2007 ARTICLE »

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