2017 was the perfect Winter with plenty of rain and cold temperatures. By April, our year-to-date rain total was 63”. With the exception of a few hot days in June and then again in early July, we had moderate Summer temperatures allowing the grapes to ripen evenly. We began harvest on September 1.
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 weight 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 2018.
At a tasting in August 2020, we tasted the 2017 and here are our notes: fruit forward with aromas of Key lime, Honeydew melon and white peach. It is supple and silky on the palate with flavors of Barlett pear, grapefruit zest and vanilla toastiness. This Chardonnay is just beginning to develop some bottle bouquet. It has the complexity and structure to allow it to develop well for at least two more years.
23.1° Brix sugar
0.65 g/100 mls acidity
0.48 g/100 mls acidity