We craft our Chardonnay Reserve from grapes cultivated in the cool-climate Carneros district of Napa Valley, with most of the fruit coming from our own estate vineyards. The wine blends six superior French Dijon clones of Chardonnay, which account for its distinctive, complex aromas and intense, vibrant flavors.
2008 was a topsy-turvy growing season in Napa Valley, with heavy January rains giving way to a warm, dry spring complicated by severe frosts in late March and throughout April. Coupled with inclement weather during bloom in May, these conditions dramatically reduced the size of the grape crop. Beginning in June, however, consistently clear, mild summer weather prevailed, ripening our small crop of Carneros Chardonnay grapes to perfection. Despite the season’s tribulations, 2008 yielded a bevy of vibrant, beautifully focused wines with rich, concentrated flavors balanced by crisp acidity.
We night-harvest 100% of our Chardonnay grapes and whole-cluster-press the fruit to obtain the freshest, purest juice possible. In 2008, we inoculated 80% of the juice with cultured yeast strains to enhance its rich fruit character while using 20% native yeasts from the vineyard to foster greater complexity and a refreshing minerality. One hundred percent of the juice fermented in French oak barrels, 35% new. Due to the wine’s perfect natural balance, we refrained from subjecting it to a secondary, malolactic fermentation. Aging our Chardonnay Reserve in barrel on its primary yeast lees for 15 months, with periodic stirring to enhance body and complexity, further refined its round, creamy texture, vibrant, varietally expressive aromas and rich, concentrated flavors.
Our 2008 Napa Valley Chardonnay Reserve boasts vivid, beautifully delineated sweet apple, melon and citrus aromas – with hints of ginger and white peach – layered with toasty, creamy tones from barrel fermentation and sur lie aging. On the round, streamlined palate, bright, creamy, apple, melon, pear, lemon-lime and mineral flavors gain additional richness from judicious toasty oak and yeast tones that prolong a lingering, gingery finish lifted by a refreshing minerality. This youthful Chardonnay Reserve, from a vintage renowned for producing finely focused white wines with concentrated fruit and vibrant acidity, will continue developing in bottle for another 5-7 years.
100% Carneros, Napa Valley
September 8 - 16, 2008
100% French Oak
15 months sur li in French oak, 35% new, with periodic stirring of the lees.