2013 Reserve Chardonnay
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.
Our Reserve Chardonnay is made following techniques I learned during my internship at Domaine des Comtes Lafon in Meursault, France. We begin in the vineyard by using a Burgundian-bred Chardonnay clone (Dijon 76) for our grapes. At the winery, we inoculated the juice with two Burgundian yeasts (Montrachet and CY 3079), then 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 and its lees (yeast sediment) to older French oak barrels to allow the wine to develop and mature without becoming too oaky. Like at Lafon, all of the wine underwent malolactic fermentation. This traditional Burgundian technique converted the grapes’ natural malic acid to the softer lactic acid, adding richness and complexity to the palate.
The Reserve was then aged sur lies (on its sediment) in barrels in our caves for 15 months and stirred every two weeks to give the wine a creamy texture and a flinty aroma. The wine was bottled in February 2015.
At our Annual Vertical Tasting in March 2017, we tasted the 2013 and these are our notes:The 2013 is beginning to develop some bottle bouquet–flinty, buttered toast aromas are well-integrated with pear, melon and floral notes. Soft, supple on the palate, it has flavors of sweet cream and vanilla toastiness. Will continue to age well for at least two more years.