2020 was quite a year…light Winter rains followed by a cool Spring brought uneven bloom and yielded a small harvest. While it was a nerve-racking fire season, we were lucky in 2020. Neither the Lightning Complex Fires nor the Glass Fire impacted our vineyard or fruit. Harvest began on August 21.
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 53° 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 (90%) and American (10%) oak, then bottled in July 2021.
The 2020 Chardonnay opens with bright tropical fruit aromas of lychee, passion fruit, guava, honeysuckle and poached pears. Lively, fresh on the palate, it has pink grapefruit, Chantenais melon, and sweet vanilla flavors. The 2020 has great aging potential as evidenced by its richness and complexities. As this wine ages, it will develop the nuances of bottle bouquet that our Chardonnays display as they mature.
22.5° Brix sugar
0.67 g/100 mls acidity
0.62 g/100 mls acidity