A slow start to Winter made us nervous, but the rains finally came in mid-January and come they did. We ended the season with twice our normal rainfall - 65”! With the exception of a few hot days in July, we had moderate Summer temperatures which allowed the grapes to ripen slowly and evenly. We began harvest on September 6.
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 it a roasted nuts aroma and greater depth on the palate. The remaining 50% was fermented in stainless steel tanks at 52° 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 (88%) and American (12%) oak, then bottled in July 2017.
At a tasting in August 2020, we tasted the 2016 and here are our notes: aromas of lemon blossoms, Comice pear and Charentais melon. Round and supple on the palate, it has begun to develop some flinty, candied lemon peel and toasted brioche notes which gives the wine a richness on the palate. The 2016 has the structure and balance to allow it to develop well for at least another year.
23.8° Brix sugar
0.67 g/100 mls acidity
0.58 g/100 mls acidity