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Exotic and floral on the nose, the wine is bright with citrus and stone fruit flavors. It is light on the palate for California Chardonnay. It’s closer to its Southern Burgundian relatives with lively acidity and a mineral driven finish. Only the faintest hint of barrel aging supports the background of the wine, allowing the flavor of these old vines to dominate and shine.
The vineyard was planted in 1974 to Wente and Clone 4 on AXR-1 Rootstock and growing on an adaptation of the California sprawl, it’s truly a throwback in time. Most Chardonnay vineyards from that era were planted in this manner, being replaced by other clones, rootstocks and a higher yielding and more dense plantings 90’s. The old style sprawl allows for a bushy canopy and helps to restrain growth while moderating sunlight exposure. There are very few of these vineyards left and we are proud to hand work these vines and harvest our fruit each year with our friends and family joining in on the fun.
We press the grapes fairly hard, to extract deeper flavor and aroma from the skins. We also want the tannins responsible for the texture in the wine since nothing is contributed by our old barrels. 60 percent is fermented in stainless and the remainder in neutral French oak with the majority of the wine not going through Malolactic fermentation at all. One racking during 9 months of aging, and an additional year or more in bottle creates Chardonnay with finesse and freshness that’s uncommon in the New World.