2017 Chardonnay, Russian River Valley
2017 began with a very wet winter. The summer was mild until a significant heatwave around Labor Day sent winemakers and growers scrambling to pick the first wave of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. After the heat wave, temperatures were warm and steady, allowing winemakers to make picking decisions based on optimal fruit maturity rather than impending weather. Our harvest started Aug 21st with the final Merlot from Carneros arriving on October 10th. Yields were very close to projections while fruit quality ranged from great to exceptional, with well-preserved acids, great color and good varietal expression.
We press the whole clusters for delicacy. Native-yeast and full native malolactic fermentation take place in barrel, with sur lies bâtonnage. After aging 12 months in 25% new French oak barrels (François Frères, Taransaud Beaune),and 5% Concrete egg, the Chardonnay was traditionally fined for clarity during the following harvest and bottled without filtration in January 2019.
Coming from special vineyard sites, our Chardonnays show great depth of flavor, length of finish, aromatic complexity, and a fine balance between richness and delicacy. Typically, the climate is cool and the soil vigor low, producing graceful yet vibrant wines.