2016 Chardonnay, Los Carneros

Los Carneros
$23.00  |  Club Price $18.40
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91 points from James Suckling!

Our Los Carneros Chardonnay displays great fruit freshness, intensity and elegance. This wines focus is primarily on aromatics, and our winemaking techniques are intended to retain the characteristic Carneros aromas of lemon-citrus and white blossom,while enhancing the minerality and bright, vibrant fruit fl avors of citrus and stone fruits in the wine. Partial barrel and malolactic fermentation, combined with lees stirring, produces a wine with added layers of complexity, imparting hints of meyer lemon, nectarine and honeysuckle.
13,000 cases produced

91 pts - James Suckling
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Varietal Composition: 100% Chardonnay
Technical Data: ALC: 14.2% by vol.; TA 5.9 G/L; pH: 3.2
Cooperage: 60% 9 Months in French Oak Barrels (20% New); 40% Fermented and Aged in Stainless Steel Tanks

The grapes were hand-harvested at night and brought to thewinery immediately, where they were whole cluster pressed; using a slow champagne cycle that gently pushes the must, rendering clean juice but hardly any solids or unwanted phenolic compounds. 60% of the juice was placed in French oak barrels, and 40% in stainless steel tanks, where they underwent alcoholic fermentation, both with selected and native yeasts. After primary fermentation, 50% of the lots went through malolactic fermentation. The wine was aged on its lees for nine months, with weekly bâtonnage (lees stirring), to add complexity and enhance mouthfeel. The wines were racked once prior to bottling.
The cool climate Carneros region is one of the worlds premier places to grow
chardonnay. Temperatures are moderated by the adjoining San Pablo Bay, cool afternoon breezes, and persistent morning fog. As hot air rises above the inland valleys, it is draws cool air from the Pacific Ocean. The sun burns off this fog late in the morning which causes the temperature to immediately jump 15 degrees. This climate yields grapes that have both enough cool hang time and sunshine to develop great natural acidity and deep fruit flavor. The grapes were sourced from seven distinct blocks in our Estate Vineyard, as well as neighboring vineyards in Los Carneros, that we have worked closely with for many years. The blocks in our Estate Vineyard have Northern exposure, and therefore, are more protected from direct sun exposure. The Los Carneros AVA is known for ideal conditions to grow high quality Chardonnay grapes, granting us fruit that is incredibly balanced and with great acidity. The vines work hard for water and nutrients, resulting in naturally low yields of grapes with concentrated fruit flavor.
Bud break arrived early this year, beginning around Valentines Day, and it was a much cooler and foggy season through August. We had no excessive heat in July, August or September, which provided for a longer hang time for the grapes. The grapes ripened uniformly and calmly at their own pace and yields were a tad higher and the flavors are phenomenal.

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