2016 Barrel Fermented Chardonnay
September 22, 2016
40% new Leroi French oak, 60% 1 & 2-year French oak
March 2, 2017
The color is bright, clear, medium-gold. The nose is fragrant with lemon curd, stone fruits, apples and flint nuances. The medium to full body has a creamy texture and bright acidity to support ripe fruit flavors of Golden Delicious apples, candied lemon peel and crème brulée. The lingering finish echoes the flavors, ending with bright citrus, brioche and toasted hazelnut notes. This Chardonnay is to enjoy now and over the next 3 – 5 years.
The 2016 harvest in Alexander Valley came early with heat building in August and early September. We opted to leave our Chardonnay on the vine until we had the richness of flavors we were seeking in our grapes. Generous rains early in the year, a warm spring and a mostly mild summer, brought our expected short crop into an average-size vintage offering exceptional fruit flavors and complexity.
The 2016 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).
James Suckling score: 92 points