Heavy Winter and Spring rains (over 48 inches) replenished our water table and nourished our vines. Summer temperatures were mild, allowing the grapes to ripen slowly and develop intense flavors. Harvest began on September 22.
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 40% of this wine in French oak barrels producing a roasted nuts aroma and greater depth on the palate. The remaining 60% 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 (87%) and American (13%) oak, then bottled in July 2010.
At our Annual Vertical Tasting in February 2018, we tasted the 2010 and here are our notes: Fresh, lively with grapefruit zest, sweet vanilla and flinty aromas. Supple, round on the palate with notes of pears, flan and toast. Long, chewy finish.