The Winter of 2019 was cold (with temperatures dipping into the low 20’s) and wet (our rainfall total for the year was 55”; average is 36”). Summer temperatures were perfect with warm days and cool nights. The ideal growing season delayed harvest which began on September 18.
Just pressed Chardonnay juice resembles unfiltered fruit juice. The clearer the juice, the fruitier the fermentation will be, so we clarified the juice by cold-settling it overnight at 48° F allowing the sediment to settle to the bottom of the tank. 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.
We fermented 50% of this wine in French oak barrels to add complexity and depth; barrel fermentation gives the wine a roasted nuts aroma and greater weight on the palate. The remaining 50% was fermented in stainless steel tanks at 54° 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 2020.
Bright and fruit forward, the 2019 opens with tropical fruit aromas of pink grapefruit, honeysuckle and tangerines. Lovely, elegant on the palate, it has Charentais melon, Bartlett pear and sweet vanilla flavors. The 2019 has great aging potential; it is complex with a long, lingering finish. As this wine ages, it will develop the nuances of bottle bouquet that our Chardonnays display as they mature.
22.9° Brix sugar
0.65 g/100 mls acidity
0.52 g/100 mls acidity