2012 Reserve Chardonnay
While light Winter rains and several days of frost in Spring made us nervous, 2012 became a growing seasons that winemakers dream of – great set during bloom, mild Summer temperatures with no heat spikes, moderate Fall days. In essence, the stars aligned and brought us the best quality fruit our vineyard has produced in 47 years. The grapes were harvested on September 18.
Our Reserve Chardonnay is made following techniques I learned during my internship at Domaine des Comtes Lafon in Meursault, France. We began in the vineyard by planting a Burgundian-bred grape clone (Dijon 76) for our grapes. At the winery, we inoculated the juice with Burgundian yeasts (Montrachet and CY3079) and barrel-fermented the juice in new and one-year-old French oak barrels to give the wine a roasted nuts aroma and a richness on the palate. After primary fermentation, we moved half of this wine with its lees (yeast sediment) to older French oak barrels to allow the wine to develop and age without becoming too oaky. Like at Lafon, all of the wine underwent malolactic fermentation. This traditional Burgundian technique converted the grapes’ natural malic acid to the softer lactic acid, adding richness and complexity to the wine.
The Reserve was then aged sur lies (on its sediment) in barrels in our caves for 15 months and stirred every two weeks to give the wine a creamy texture and a flinty aroma. The wine was bottled in February 2014.
At a a tasting in May 2020, we tasted the 2012 and here are our notes: Youthful. Red pear fruit, orange blossoms and granite notes. Round, soft entry. Flinty, roasted nuts, Chantilly cream and toasty flavors.