2010 is our first vintage of Reserve Chardonnay produced entirely from our estate vineyards – Cuttings Wharf, Milton Road and Foster Road – in the cool-climate Carneros district of southern Napa Valley. These prime sites are planted to six distinctive, high-quality clones of Chardonnay. By fermenting and barrel aging each clonal selection separately, and then blending only the very best barrel lots, we’re able to create a rich, luxurious style of Chardonnay with layers of complex aromas and flavors.
2010 was the latest in a series of cooler-than-normal growing seasons in Napa Valley. The year began with substantial winter rainfall, which pushed back bud break, flowering and grape set by several weeks. After an especially cool summer, heat spikes in late August kick-started full ripening. Cooler temperatures returned in early September, but classic Indian summer weather yielded fully matured fruit. 2010’s mild growing conditions proved especially ideal for our Chardonnay grapes, which developed deep, concentrated flavors balanced by vibrant acidity.
To ensure we obtain the freshest, purest juice possible, we night-harvest and whole-cluster-press 100% of our Chardonnay grapes. In 2010, we inoculated 76% of the juice with cultured yeast strains that accentuate the variety’s fruitfulness while using 24% native yeasts from the vineyard to promote greater complexity and a refreshing minerality. One hundred percent of the juice fermented in French oak barrels, 30% new, with 7% undergoing a secondary, malolactic fermentation to enhance richness and mouthfeel. Aging our Reserve Chardonnay in barrel on its primary yeast lees for 15 months, with weekly stirring of the lees, further enhanced the wine’s aromatic complexity while fostering a round, creamy texture and lush, concentrated flavors.
Our 2010 Napa Valley Reserve Chardonnay introduces itself with creamy, yeasty, butterscotch-y aromas that quickly reveal lovely ripe peach and yellow apple fruit scents layered with nutmeg and cinnamon spice notes from the French oak barrels in which it was fermented and aged. Full-bodied, round and extremely rich and creamy on the palate, the wine expertly marries lush apple, peach and crème brulee flavors with refreshing mineral tones, culminating in a long, lively finish buoyed by bright acidity and a hint of citrus zest. Beautifully structured, this sumptuous Napa Valley Chardonnay should age beautifully in bottle for another 5-7 years.
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100% Carneros, Napa Valley
Alcoholic Content: 14.9%
September 10 - 29, 2010
Total Acidity: 0.67g/100ml
100% French Oak
15 months sur lie in French oak, 30% new, with periodic stirring of the lees.