Early Winter rains (over 25 inches) and frosty mornings marked the beginning of 2013. Spring was relatively dry with only 5 inches of rain; mild Summer temperatures allowed the grapes to ripen slowly and intensify the flavors. They say lightning never strikes twice, but 2013 was another year that Winemakers dream of – even paced, exceptional fruit quality and good yields. Harvest began on September 4.
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 48° F allowing the sediment to fall to the tank’s bottom. We then moved the juice and inoculated it with yeast. We used four different strains of yeast, each providing a unique flavor profile to the wine.
To add complexity and depth, we fermented 50% of this wine in French oak barrels giving a roasted nuts aroma and greater depth on the palate. The remaining 50% was fermented in stainless steel tanks at 54° 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.
The 2013 was aged for nine months in French (88%) and American (12%) oak, then bottled in July 2014.
At a tasting in October 2016, we tasted the 2013 and here are our notes: Opens with floral, candied lemon peel and sweet pear aromas. It is bright and lively on the palate; notes of grapefruit and vanilla toastiness add richness and complexity to the wine. Lovely now, it will continue to age well for at least two more years.