2018 Chardonnay, Russian River Valley
The 2018 season was exemplary. Spring was drier than in 2017 and after two years of poor set, consistently mild weather led to good berry set. Higher cluster counts than the low yielding years of 2015-2017, coupled with cooler late summer temperatures, brought longer hangtimes with harvest dates up to two weeks later than the previous vintage. 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.
We press whole clusters for phenolic delicacy. Native-yeast and full native malolactic fermentation take place in barrel, with sur lies bâtonnage.
After aging 12 months in 15% new French oak barrels (François Frères, Taransaud Beaune), the Chardonnay was traditionally fined for clarity during the following harvest and bottled without filtration in February 2020.
These are cool sites, with low vigor soil such as Goldridge Loam, planted between 1978 and 2006. The vineyards are planted to a larger-clustered clone such as UC Davis clone 4, or a younger planting of a Wente or Dijon selection.