Founded in 2011, Senses quickly became one of the most exciting wine projects out of the Sonoma Coast.  Occidental natives and childhood friends Christopher Strieter, Max Thieriot and Myles Lawrence-Briggs partnered with world-class winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown to produce coastal Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.  Beginning with only 100 cases in their inaugural vintage, Senses currently crafts a few thousand cases of single vineyard and appellation wines. Grapes come from highly-renowned and family-owned vineyards including the B.A Thieriot, Terra de Promissio, Dutton Palms and Charles Heintz sites.  The wines are complex, intense in flavour and beautifully balanced.  All wines ferment via indigenous yeasts and are neither fined nor filtered.  In the past two years, their presence in the marketplace has expanded to include placements on the menus of many Michelin-rated restaurants throughout the United States, including The French Laundry and Le Bernardin.

Sonoma Coast is one of California’s most notable wine regions.  Despite the critical acclaim and steep price points these wines demand, there are only 10 wineries here, with 2000 acres under vine planted almost exclusively to Burgundy varietals Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.  The widely varying terroir is less influenced by the cooling fog that rolls in through the Petaluma Gap than its northern counterpart, the Russian River Valley.  Instead, the Sonoma Coast climate is dictated by the area’s sheltered position between the hills, as well as its close proximity to San Pablo Bay to the south, which provides temperature moderation in the vineyard.  The unique combination of maritime influence, elevation, lack of rainfall and varied soil types exists nowhere else on earth.


2021 Senses Charles Heintz Vineyard Chardonnay
Sonoma Coast – $186

Just in time for summer, this singular Chardonnay is now available for purchase, in extremely limited quantities, through the LCBO May Cellar Collection. Ontario is the only market outside of the United States and the winery’s exclusive mailing list with excess to this beauty.

As with all great wines, the vineyard is the star here.  The Heintz family have owned their ranch for over 100 years, but it wasn’t until 1982 that the decision was made to plant Chardonnay, specifically Clone 4.  Ideal ‘Goldridge’ soil, healthy, mature vines, warm days balanced with cool nights and a passionate grower with extensive knowledge of the site all contribute to Robert Parker’s assessment of the vineyard as “… one of the great Grand Cru Chardonnay sites in California.”  Perfectly ripe fruit was sourced and meticulously sorted by hand.  The wine was fermented via wild yeasts in 100% French oak and aged in barrel for 14 months. While drinking delightfully now, it will age gracefully over the next 10+ years.

“The Senses 2021 Charles Heintz Vineyard Chardonnay has notions of almond croissant, persimmons, and candied ginger tumbling from the glass, leading to a fragrant core of mandarin peel, lime blossoms, and juicy nectarines, plus a waft of butterscotch. The medium to full-bodied palate is an explosion of bright citrus and stone fruit fireworks, offset by fantastic tension and a satiny texture, finishing long and minerally. So good!”

– 97pts, Lisa Perotti-Brown MW

There are only 60 bottles available through the LCBO’s online catalogue and orders are first-come, first-served. Click below to buy online (page 4):
Senses Chardonnay