The excellent 2002 vintage was remarkably even and consistent.
Flowering occurred as usual in mid-May, and cool-to-mild temperatures
prevailed throughout the growing season, with just a few brief heat
spikes. These conditions allowed the grapes to achieve full ripeness
and develop intense, balanced flavors.
Approximately 50% of the grapes for our Napa Valley Chardonnay
come from the cool Carneros region in the southern tip of Napa Valley,
with the balance from vineyards in the warmer portion of the valley.
This enables us to produce a Chardonnay with rich, ripe fruit flavors
balanced by crisp acidity. In 2002, the grapes from the mid-valley vineyards
were harvested between September 10th and September 20th, while the
Carneros fruit was picked between September 23rd and October 5th.
Grapes from both regions were hand-harvested in early
morning and whole cluster pressed (to ensure the freshest, purest juice),
and then cold-settled in tank for 36 hours. Approximately 65% of the
juice was fermented in French oak barrels, of which 45% were new barrels,
with 35% of the juice fermenting in stainless steel tanks. Multiple
yeasts were used to enhance the wine's complexity and roughly 9% of
the blend underwent a secondary, malolactic fermentation, which enhances
mouth feel and imparts a slightly creamy tone. Sur lie (on the yeast
lees) aging for eight months in barrel added texture, depth and intensity
to the wine, which was racked off the lees and bottled in early July
Our 2002 Napa Valley Chardonnay offers a fresh, pure aroma
of ripe apples and pears with hints of peach, tropical fruits and vanilla
cream. On the palate, the wine is youthfully compact and crisp, revealing
deep, intense fruit flavors with an appealing flinty, minerally tone.
Delightful now, this classic Napa Valley Chardonnay will develop additional
bouquet, richness, and complexity with another 18-24 months of bottle