2014 Reserve Chardonnay
We had a cold, dry Winter (our rainfall was half of normal) and warm Spring temperatures which led to an early budbreak. We anticipated an early harvest, but moderate Summer temperatures, specifically a cooling trend in August, allowed the grapes to mature slowly. Harvest began on August 29.
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 2016.
The 2014 Reserve Chardonnay is fruit-focused and youthful with aromas of grapefruit blossoms, candied lemon peel and ripe pears. Lively, fresh on the entry, it has a rich mid-palate with notes of sweet cream; the toasty vanilla flavors from barrel-fermentation and extended barrel-aging enhance its bouquet. Lovely now, the 2014 Reserve has the structure and excellent balance to allow it to age for at least three more years.
22.7° Brix sugar
0.63 g/100 mls acidity
0.59 g/100 mls acidity