2011 Chardonnay, Hyde Vineyard, Napa-Carneros
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“Full, bright yellow. Deeper-pitched aromas of yellow fruits and clove, with suggestions of tropical fruits, nuts and biscuit; the first of these vintages to show real evolution. Creamy in texture, conveying a glyceral impression and captivating sweetness to its yellow fruit flavors. An edge of acidity gives this wine a slightly disjointed finish. I don’t find the same chalky minerality I noted when I last tasted this wine a few years ago. Ramey considers 2011 to be a cold vintage but he also believes that this wine will evolve faster than the 2012. “The harvest was a month later so the grapes hung out in the weather and the fruit got a little tired,” he explained. In fact, he believes that this wine is at its peak and predicts it will be more like the 2003 than the 2004 in five years.”
–93pts, Stephen Tanzer, vinous, July 2017
If the 2010 vintage was cool, the 2011 vintage was cold. We didn’t start harvesting Chardonnay until the end of September. This vintage displays the richness of fully mature fruit coupled with crisp, refreshing acidity.
All of our Chardonnays are whole-cluster pressed and fermented in Burgundian barrels with native yeast. Due to their great density and structure, vineyard-designate wines are able to absorb more oak without being overwhelmed, and see approximately 45% new French barrels. In addition, these wines spend more time in barrel (for this wine 21 months), completely sur lies, before being bottled without filtration in August 2013.
Vine selection for our Hyde Vineyard wines are old Wente, Robert Young and Long Vineyards each a Wente selection themselves – ranging in age from 13 to 32 years old. The Wente produces a classic, Burgundian-style wine without the tropical fruit tones of some California Chardonnays. The Long Vineyards selection adds a floral note, and the Hyde Vineyard wines often seem charming and feminine. High natural acidity plays a prominent role.