Dry, temperate summer days cooled by morning and evening fog and afternoon breezes from the nearby Pacific Ocean make Anderson Valley in Mendocino County a unique environment in which to cultivate world-class Chardonnay. Our organically farmed Anderson Valley estate vineyard is planted to nine distinctive, high-quality clones of the variety. By harvesting and fermenting each clonal lot separately prior to blending, our winemakers craft a regionally expressive, richly flavorful Anderson Valley Chardonnay displaying ripe, intense fruit, superb balance and impressive complexity.
The tumultuous 2008 growing season began with heavy January rains, followed by near-drought conditions in early spring and severe frosts in late March and throughout April. Coupled with poor weather during bloom in May, these conditions significantly reduced the size of the Chardonnay crop throughout Northern California. June, however, ushered in an extended period of clear, mild summer weather that enabled our estate Anderson Valley Chardonnay grapes to ripen slowly and evenly, developing bright, intense fruit flavors balanced by crisp acidity.
After hand-harvesting the fruit at night and whole-cluster-pressing it to guarantee maximum freshness, we transferred each clonal lot to French oak barrels for fermentation. In 2008, we fermented using 28% native yeasts from the vineyard to enhance the wine’s complexity and expression of terroir. Our Anderson Valley Chardonnay aged nine months on the yeast lees in barrel, 40% new, with periodic stirring (battonage), to foster a wine of impressive richness and complexity.
This richly textured Chardonnay entices with fresh, vibrant, ripe yellow apple and pear fruit aromas complemented by seductive floral, coconut and toasted vanilla scents. Its mouth-filling Bosc pear, ripe apple and sweet melon flavors are balanced by bright acidity and a crisp, mineral-y finish enhanced by lifted citrus tones. Lush and concentrated, yet fresh and lively, our Anderson Valley Chardonnay drinks beautifully now, but will develop superbly in bottle for another 3-5 years.
Alcoholic Content: 14.1%
100% Anderson Valley, Mendocino
Total Acidity: 0.59g/100ml
October 2-9, 2008
100% French Oak
9 months in French oak, 40% new, with periodic stirring of the yeast lees