This is a brilliant wine packed full of tropical and stone fruit flavors with oak and vanilla complexity and a long, luscious, finish.
The grapes for this Chardonnay came from four of our Sonoma Coast Estate Vineyards. Three of the vineyards are located to the East of Petaluma and are called Catapult, Diamond Pile, and the Lazy M. This vineyard is in a region called “The Petaluma Gap” which is defined as a corridor of cool air that comes from the Pacific Ocean and flows toward the east through the gap in the Sonoma mountain range. It slows grape ripening and cools the area which is ideal for slowly ripening Chardonnay and maintaining acidity. The balance of the grapes came from our Sonoma Carneros Estate Home Vineyard. The Los Carneros region with its proximity to the San Pablo Bay and Pacific ocean remains cool during the growing season and is prized for its Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
The grapes were handpicked and destemmed only. The “rollers” on the crusher-stemmer were pulled back so that the clusters fell directly into the de-stemmer barrel. This technique limits the breaking up of the berries and skins and minimizes tannin extraction to create a smooth wine. The grapes are then pumped directly to our tank-press where free run and light press wine is then pumped to our settling tanks. The temperature of the juice is dropped to 50 degrees F and settled for two days and then racked to a combination of 40% barrel and the 60% stainless steel fermentors. The fermentation temperature is maintained at a low 55-65 degrees for maximum fruit preservation. The wine is stirred on its lees for four months and was racked onto French oak for a period of four months. It sees approximately 40% new oak which imparts a delicate vanilla and toast character. The wine goes through approximately 60% malolactic fermentation.