Substantial Winter rains and cool temperatures delayed the start of the growing season. Mild Summer temperatures allowed the grapes to ripen slowly and develop rich flavors. Our latest Harvest in 45 years began began on September 27.
The newly pressed Chardonnay juice resembles unfined, unfiltered fruit juice. The clearer the juice, the fruitier the fermentation will be, so we clarified the juice by settling it overnight at 50° F and then inoculated it with yeast. We used four different strains of yeast, each providing unique components of richness to the wine.
To add complexity and depth, we fermented 30% of this wine in French oak barrels producing a roasted nuts aroma and greater depth on the palate. The remaining 70% was fermented in stainless steel tanks at 56° F to retain more of the grapes’ aromas of citrus and tropical fruit. After alcoholic fermentation, 40% of the wine underwent malolactic fermentation, converting the wine’s natural malic acid to the softer lactic acid, adding a buttery character to the aroma and a rich, creamy texture on the palate.
Aged for nine months in French (88%) and American (12%) oak, then bottled in July 2012.
At our Annual Vertical Tasting in March 2016, we tasted the 2011 and here are our notes: Tropical fruit, peach and lemon cream aromas. Soft, supple entry with bright citrus and creamy notes on the mid-palate and sweet vanilla notes at the end. Just beginning to develop some bottle bouquet.