2016 Chardonnay, Hyde Vineyard, Carneros
2016 began with another very early bloom, leading to a very early harvest; our first fruit arrived August 5. During maturation, summer temperatures were warm and steady, with fewer heat spikes than 2015. Three weeks of cool weather in August and September relaxed the pace of harvest, allowing for methodical picking decisions and perfectly developed fruit. Yields were relatively average – down from 2014 and up from 2015.
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 and Taransaud Beaune 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.