2015 Reserve Chardonnay
The mild, dry Winter of 2015 led to an early start to the growing season. Cold temperatures in May adversely affected our bloom which led to lower yields. Moderate Summer days allowed the grapes to ripen slowly and evenly. We began harvest on August 26.
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 using a Burgundian-bred Chardonnay clone (Dijon 76) for our grapes. At the winery, we inoculated the juice with two Burgundian yeasts (Montrachet and CY 3079), then 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 and its lees (yeast sediment) to older French oak barrels to allow the wine to develop and mature without becoming too oaky. The Reserve Chardonnay has less than 10% new oak. 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 palate.
We then aged the Reserve sur lies (on its sediment) in barrels in our caves for 15 months and utilized bâtonnage (stirring the lees) every two weeks to give the wine a creamy texture and a flinty aroma. The wine was bottled in January 2017.
The 2015 Reserve Chardonnay is youthful and fruit-focused with aromas of apricots, melons and pink grapefruit balanced by a flintiness. Soft, supple on the palate, it has notes of lemon cream. The toasty vanilla flavors from barrel-fermentation and extended barrel-aging enhance its bouquet. Lovely now, the 2015 Reserve has the structure and excellent balance to allow it to age for at least three more years.
23.2° Brix sugar
0.61 g/100 mls acidity
0.49 g/100 mls acidity