The wine exhibits a balance with brilliant acidity and nice length with a lively finish. Aromas of crème brûlée accented with hints of pear white peach and apricot.
Los Carneros. AVA It is located north of San Pablo Bay. The proximity to the cool fog and breezes from the bay makes the climate in Los Carneros cooler and more moderate than the wine regions further north in Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley. The cooler climate is ideal for growing Chardonnay.
This vineyard was planted in the 90's. The soil is and old Alluvial Fan Deposit. Gravel and pebbles blanket the entire ground. It is a vertical trellising system trained bi-laterally with a North East-South West row orientation. Special care was given to canopy management in this vineyard to ensure the leaves sheltered the clusters from the harsh afternoon sun, but allowed the morning sunlight to gently penetrate the canopy to promote ripeness. There was an extensive program of crop thinning and weak shoot removal to allow only the strong shoots and clusters to benefit from the vines' strength. A deficit irrigation program was employed to further stress the vines and focus the vines' energies on grape ripening and character development throughout the season.
We night harvest cold whole cluster hand picked Chardonnay grapes to ensure freshness and fruit purity. This gentle process helps the wine achieve balance as well as develop a silky smooth mouth feel and enhance the aging potential. Using cultured yeast strains the wine was fermented entirely in 60% French Oak and 40% American Oak barrels, 75% new oak in total. We also initiated a 70% secondary, malolactic fermentation, which converts tangy malic acid to creamier lactic acid. The wine was aged in barrel for 14 months on its primary yeast lees, with weekly stirring of the lees to optimize its texture, richness and complexity.
The 2013 growing season was marked by healthy winter rains, followed by a spring and summer that showed low rainfalls events. We encountered very few frost nights in the spring, few significant heat spikes and almost no high wind events. In addition the season presented uniform growing days all that we feel has contributed to a great balance of acidity and sugar, good color and tannin structure and optimal flavor development.