2016 Estate Chardonnay, Westside Farms, 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 whole-cluster press for phenolic delicacy. Native-yeast and full native malolactic fermentations take place in barrel, with sur lies bâtonnage. After aging 20 months in 20% new François Frères barrels, this Chardonnay was lightly fined and settled in tank before being bottled without filtration.
This is our third estate Chardonnay, from the heart of the Russian River Valley. It has a complex and harmonious mouthfeel, balancing power & elegance.