The grapes for our Napa Valley Chardonnay come primarily from the cooler southern precincts of the valley, which stretch from the fog-chilled Carneros district to the slightly warmer Oak Knoll region just north of the town of Napa. Blending fruit from diverse microclimates and soils allows us to craft a rich, ripe, elegantly structured Chardonnay that’s delicious on release, but also ages well in bottle. To enhance the wine’s freshness and protect our vineyard workers from the high temperatures prevalent during harvest, we pick most of our fruit at night, ensuring it arrives at the winery in pristine condition.
The 2008 growing season was a study in extremes. The year began with torrential January rains, segued into drought conditions in early spring (prompting early budbreak), then erupted into the worst frost season in over 35 years in late March and throughout April. Combined with disadvantageous weather during bloom in May, these conditions significantly reduced the size of the Chardonnay crop throughout Northern California. Beginning in June, however, an extended period of clear, mild summer weather set in, enabling us to harvest our Napa Valley Chardonnay grapes with an excellent balance of sugar and acidity between September 4th and October 1st. Despite the season’s trials and tribulations, 2008 yielded a trove of vibrant, varietally expressive wines boasting rich, concentrated fruit flavors balanced by crisp acidity.
After night-harvesting and whole-cluster-pressing our Chardonnay grapes, we fermented 92% of the juice in French oak barrels, with 8% fermenting in stainless steel tanks. Because the 2008 vintage produced fruit with tremendous varietal intensity and exceptionally well-balanced flavors, the only winemaking intervention required was to select the right barrels to highlight the wine’s lovely natural attributes. Our 2008 Napa Valley Chardonnay spent eight months aging in French oaks barrels, 36% new, with periodic stirring of the yeast lees to further enrich texture and flavor.
Our 2008 Napa Valley Chardonnay seduces right off the bat with brilliantly fresh, complex aromas of lemon-lime, scented pear, ripe yellow apple, honeydew melon and mineral. On the sleek, vibrant palate, rich, concentrated, ripe apple and pear flavors dominate, with refreshing citrus and mineral tones emerging in the wine’s wonderfully long, crisp, finish. Deliciously fresh and delectable now, this youthful Chardonnay will blossom and gain further richness and complexity with another 6-8 months in the bottle and will drink beautifully for 3 to 5 years.
Alcoholic Content: 14.5%
100% Napa Valley
Total Acidity: 0.63g/100ml
September 4 - October 1, 2008
92% French Oak & 8% stainless steel;
8 months in French oak, 36% new, with periodic stirring of the lees.