2015 Chardonnay, Hyde Vineyard, Napa-Carneros
January and February 2015 were the warmest on record, resulting in early budbreak. Cooler, wetter weather in spring months slowed development, however, leading to a challenging, extended bloom period. The resulting uneven fruit set translated to a small crop and smaller berries with very concentrated flavors. The early budbreak resulted in an equally early harvest.
We press whole grape clusters for phenolic delicacy. Native yeast and full native malolactic fermentation take place in barrel, with sur lies bâtonnage. After aging 20 months in 22% new François Frères French oak barrels, this Chardonnay was fined and settled in tank. It was then bottled without filtration.
Vine selection for our Hyde Vineyard Chardonnays are predominantly old Wente with some Robert Young—itself a Wente selection. The Wente produces a classic, Burgundian-style wine without the tropical fruit tones of some California Chardonnays. Hyde Vineyard wines often seem charming and feminine, with high natural acidity playing a prominent role.