We source the grapes for our Napa Valley Chardonnay primarily from the cooler southern precincts of the valley, which stretch from the fog-chilled Carneros district to relatively warmer sites 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.
After the long, cool growing seasons of 2005 and 2006, 2007 brought a change of pace. Winter and spring were unusually dry with above-average temperatures, which accelerated budbreak and bloom. Summer was mild, with few hot days, helping our Napa Valley Chardonnay grapes ripen slowly and evenly. Culminating these near-perfect conditions, the 2007 harvest began early and fast-paced, with the fruit harvested between August 25 and October 3 with a sublime balance of ripe fruit and vibrant acidity.
We whole-cluster-pressed the grapes for optimum freshness, then fermented 85% of the juice in French oak barrels, with the balance fermenting in stainless steel tanks to preserve the wine’s bright fruit character. Our 2007 Chardonnay aged sur lie (on the yeast lees) in French barrels, 35% new, for eight months, with periodic stirring of the lees to enrich texture and flavor. In 2007, 11% of the Chardonnay barrel lots were selected to undergo a secondary malolactic fermentation which softens the natural acidity resulting in a fuller bodied wine. Winemaker Julianne Laks tastes every barrel lot frequently as it matures to determine the perfect amount of stirring for each, thus enhancing the complexity of the final blend. The result is a fresh, rich, beautifully balanced Chardonnay with classic Napa Valley character.
Our 2007 Napa Valley Chardonnay displays vibrant citrus blossom, ripe apple, sweet melon and white peach aromas, with subtle butter-cream, baked bread and toasty oak scents adding complexity. Rich, fresh and creamy on the palate, with beautiful underlying structure, the wine delivers sleek, succulent, ripe peach, yellow apple and lemon zest flavors buoyed by a vein of refreshing minerality, which enlivens the crisp, flavorful finish. Boasting the purity and harmony emblematic of a great white wine vintage, this classic Napa Valley Chardonnay is delightful now, but will age gracefully in bottle for another 3 to 5 years.
Alcoholic Content: 14.3%
100% Napa Valley
Total Acidity: 0.62g/100ml
8/25/2007 through 10/3/2007
75% French Oak & 15% stainless with 11% Malolactic
7 months in French oak, 35% new, with frequent stirring of the lees.