2016 Chardonnay, Rochioli Vineyard, Russian River Valley
2016 began with another very early bloom, leading to a very early harvest in Sonoma County; 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 gently press whole clusters for phenolic delicacy. Native yeast and full native malolactic fermentation take place in barrel, with sur lies bâtonnage. After aging 20 months in 20% new François Frères and Taransaud Beaune French oak barrels, this Chardonnay was fined and settled in tank following the next harvest. It was then bottled without filtration.
This is our second single vineyard Chardonnay from this historic vineyard. We’ve enjoyed a wonderful relationship with the Rochioli family for years and are excited to produce this elegant and fruit-driven wine from our neighbor’s vineyard on Westside Road.