2011 Reserve Chardonnay
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 on September 24.
Our Reserve Chardonnay is made following techniques I learned during my internship at Domaine des Comtes Lafon in Meursault, France. We began in the vineyard by planting a Burgundian-bred grape clone (Dijon 76) for our grapes. At the winery, we inoculated the juice with Burgundian yeasts (Montrachet and CY3079) and barrel-fermented the juice in new and one-year-old French oak barrels to give the wine a roasted nuts aroma and a richness on the palate. After primary fermentation, we moved half of this wine with its lees (yeast sediment) to older French oak barrels to allow the wine to develop and age without becoming too oaky. Like at Lafon, all of the Reserve underwent malolactic fermentation. This traditional Burgundian technique converted the grapes’ natural malic acid to the softer lactic acid, adding richness and complexity to the wine.
The Reserve was then aged sur lies (on its sediment) in barrels in our caves for 15 long months and stirred every two weeks to give the wine a creamy texture and a flinty aroma. The wine was bottled in February 2013.
At our Annual Vertical Tasting in March 2016, we tasted the 2011 and here are our notes: Youthful. Flinty, pear, vanilla, sweet grapefruit aromas. Fresh lemon cream entry; round, supple mid-palate; sweet vanilla, toast and mineral notes add to its depth. Excellent balance.