2016 Chardonnay Santa Cruz Mountains
Release Date: Fall 2018
Production: 148 cases
Vineyard: The grapes for this wine come from a single vineyard located in the southern hills of Scotts Valley, just four miles from the town of Santa Cruz and the Pacific Ocean. The dry-farmed Chardonnay vines on this site were planted in 1998, in sandy soils rich in marine deposits. Surrounded by forests, and featuring a north-south row orientation, these vines yield small, tiny-berried clusters. While this is a very cool vineyard that produces grapes with great acidity, the fruit also achieves lovely ripeness at low sugar levels.
Harvest: While the yields were extremely low in 2017, the quality was exceptional, delivering pristine grapes with beautifully articulated flavors. We harvested the Chardonnay for this wine by hand on August 24th at 21.0º Brix.
Fermentation: We broke the berries prior to pressing and fermented the grapes in a combination of concrete egg and 500-liter French oak puncheons.
Cellar Notes: This wine was aged for 16 months in neutral/seasoned barrels and 500-liter puncheons, with 25% total new oak. To enhance richness and mouthfeel, it underwent 100% malolactic fermentation and the lees were occasionally stirred. To preserve a pure expression of cool-climate Chardonnay, it was bottled in February of 2018 without fining or filtration using a minimum of sulphur.
Total acid: 8.2 g/l
Malolactic fermentation: 100%
Tasting Notes: This is a beautifully intricate Chardonnay, with zesty minerality and enticing layers of green apple, Meyer lemon, brioche, beeswax and honeysuckle. On the palate, the flavors are framed by a dynamic undercurrent of cool-climate acidity. While it has both nerve and energy, there is also an inviting creaminess to this wine, that offers a lovely counterpoint, while helping to draw the flavors to lingering finish.
Vision: In the winery, I strive to be true to each variety I work with and to craft fresh, lively wine with the ability to complement an array of modern cuisines. Showcasing energetic acidity and vivid freshness, this is the style of Chardonnay I love to drink.