The drought continued in 2021 with 24” of rain (average is ~36”). Early bloom in March and light fruit set in May was followed by a cool Spring and Summer. The lower yields and cool temperatures were ideal for the Chardonnay and allowed the grapes to develop intense flavors. We began harvest on August 30.
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; the sediment settled 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 integrated the oak into the wine, giving it a roasted nuts aroma and greater richness 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 oak, then bottled in July 2022.
At our Annual Vertical Tasting in January 2024, we tasted the 2021 and here are our notes: Young. Tutti fruity, lime blossom, apple candy, lychee, Comice pear and orange marmalade. Bright, fruit forward. Supple, rich on the palate with notes of pink grapefruit, Charentais melon and sweet vanilla toast.
23.0° Brix sugar
0.66 g/100 mls acidity
0.56 g/100 mls acidity