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.
At a tasting in August 2023, we tasted the 2019 and here are our notes: Opens with lovely fruit aromas of lemon blossom, Bartlett pear, oyster shell and Charentais melon notes. It is rich, supple on the palate with notes of flint, pink grapefruit, lemon cream and toast with a long, lingering finish. The 2019 Chardonnay has the complexity and balance that will allow it to develop well for at least another year.
22.9° Brix sugar
0.65 g/100 mls acidity
0.52 g/100 mls acidity