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Hafner Vineyard

2021 Reserve Chardonnay


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. Harvest began on August 31.


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 is aged in approximately 8% 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 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 February 2023, then bottle aged for 15 months before release. 


The 2021 Reserve Chardonnay is fruit-forward, lively and youthful. It opens with lovely tropical fruit aromas, mangoes, orange blossoms, Charentais melon and toasted brioche aromas. Rich, supple, round on the palate, it has flavors of pink grapefruit, poached pear and fresh cream. The sweet vanilla toastiness from barrel-fermentation and extended barrel-aging enhance its bouquet. Lovely now, the 2021 Reserve has the structure and excellent balance to allow it to age for at least three more years.

Parke Hafner Signature

2021 Reserve Chardonnay

At Harvest:

22.8° Brix
0.64 g/100 mls TA
3.34 pH

At Bottling:

13.4% alcohol
0.62 g/100 mls TA
3.52 pH