After a dry winter and cool spring we had a warm May and June. Fortunately, August brought slightly cooler days and nights that continued through harvest, extending hang time and allowing the fruit to develop fully, with balanced, uniform flavors, sugars and acids.
The fruit for our 2001 Napa Valley Chardonnay comes from two distinctly different Napa Valley regions. Most of it comes from the southern Carneros region, where cooler temperatures produce fruit with higher acids. A smaller portion of it comes from the upper Napa Valley. Grapes from this area have broader apple and pear flavors, lending a depth to the final blend.
Fermentation & Aging:
To ensure optimum quality and flavor, the grapes are picked in the cool, early morning hours and immediately delivered to the winery in separate vineyard lots. There, the grapes are whole cluster pressed, a method whereby the juice is gently and slowly pressed from the skins. This method limits the extraction of tannins and potassium from the skins, which can cause astringency and lower acids.
With the 2001 Chardonnay, 78% of the wine was barrel fermented; the remainder was fermented in stainless steel tanks. After completing fermentation, the wine was aged in French Oak barrels while 14% of the wine underwent malolactic fermentation. The wines are topped up, but left on the original lees to add flavor and complexity. Additionally, the lees are stirred weekly to allow the fruit, acid and oak to fully integrate, resulting in a more balanced wine. After barrel aging is complete the Chardonnay is released in the fall.
The 2001 Napa Valley Chardonnay offers up effusive aromas of ripe apples and pears, with nuances of toasty oak and vanilla. On the palate, upfront flavors of fresh green apple and ripe melon are balanced by crisp acids and a full-bodied texture. A long, lingering green apple finish completes the picture.
Alcoholic Content: 14.1%
Total Acidity: 0.66g/100ml