2015 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay
2015 was another drought year and was not without its challenges. A cool wet May with intermittent rain caused shatter during flowering which produced a small fruit set. Steady warm weather in August pushed the grapes to ripen early, so our first white grapes were harvested on mid-August a few weeks earlier than normal. In addition, the yields were much lower than usual, barely 3 tons per acre which meant more concentrated fruit flavors. On September 8th we hand-harvested our two Chardonnay blocks in the very early morning so that they could arrive at the winery in peak condition.
The 2015 Chardonnay was barrel fermented, with some minimal lees stirring to create richness and complexity. Only a partial secondary malolactic fermentation was allowed to preserve the crisp acidity freshness. The intent was to make a rich yet understated Chardonnay that reflects the clonal selection (70% Robert Young + 30% Clone 4), soils (clay loam), and region (Alexander Valley).
Smooth palate with fruity aromatics. Lemon curd, stonefruit, toffee. On the palate, baked apple pie, peaches and cream, asain pear, hints of flinty minerality. Medium bodied with creamy finish and bright acidity to support a long finish. This Chardonnay is to enjoy now and over the next 3 years.
AVA: Alexander Valley
Harvest date: September 8, 2015
Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
Alcohol by Volume: 14.5%
TA: 0.50 g/mL
Barrels: 40% new Leroi French oak, Medium Toast; 40% 2-year-old Leroi French Oak, the remaining balance in neutral French oak
Time in Barrel: 10 months sur lie
Bottling Date: August 11th, 2016
Cases Produced: 315