Tasting Notes: The nose offers vivid, creamy aromas of green and golden apple, pear and citrus with supporting scents of beeswax and mineral. Full-bodied and vibrant on the palate, with bright, intense, apple, citrus and melon flavors, the 2015 Napa Valley Chardonnay is remarkably persistent on the palate, culminating in a long finish showcasing pleasing spice, yeast and mineral tones. Delicious upon release, it will also reward 5-7 years’ aging.
Our Napa Valley Chardonnay blends grapes from top vineyards throughout the valley, with the preponderance coming from the cool-climate Carneros region at its southern tip. Subject to fog and cool breezes from nearby San Pablo Bay, Carneros enjoys a long growing season that ripens its fruit fully while retaining the bright acidity that gives our chardonnay its freshness and vitality. We complement this fruit with grapes from warmer vineyards north of Carneros that yield riper, fuller chardonnays. This allows us to craft a complex, elegantly structured wine that drinks beautifully on release, but ages well in the bottle.
In 2015, 90% of the grapes for the Napa Valley Chardonnay came from the cool-climate Carneros district at the southern tip of the valley, with 40% of the fruit from Estate Carneros vineyards. Carneros enjoys a long, cool growing season that fully ripens its fruit while retaining the bright acidity that gives freshness and vitality. Carneros fruit was complemented in 2015 with Chardonnay grapes from just north of the city of Napa that yield especially luscious wines. Grapes were hand-harvested at night to maximize freshness and varietal intensity, then whole-cluster-pressed with the free-run juice transferred to French oak barrels for fermentation. Twenty-nine percent of the wine was put through a secondary, malolactic fermentation to enrich its flavors and texture. The barrel-fermented wine aged sur lie in 35% new French oak barrels for eight months with periodic stirring of the lees to layer the wine’s crisp, vibrant fruit flavors with an appealingly creamy, slightly yeasty tone.