Block 92, Estate Vineyard
Los Carneros, Napa Valley
Club Price $48.00
Our premier Estate Chardonnay!
This Chardonnay captures the essence of our Estate Vineyard which is at one of the highest elevations in all of Los Carneros. The vines on this steep, hillside block produce low yields of small intense berries with concentrated flavors. By picking the grapes based on fl avor and acidity, we are able to obtain a Chardonnay that is bright, well balanced, with great concentration of fruit. Distinctive notes of citrus and a hint of jasmine and orange blossom are followed by fl avors of pear, key lime pie and orchard fruit. It is a full bodied Chardonnay that is well balanced, offers bright acidity and careful oak integration. The wine will age gracefully and develop more complexity over time in the bottle.
620 cases produced91pts - Wine Enthusiast (December 2018)
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Varietal Composition: 100% Chardonnay
Technical Data: ALC: 14.2% by vol.; TA: 6.6 G/L; pH: 3.60
Cooperage: 9 Months in French Oak Barrels (40% New)
The grapes were hand harvested at night guarantying that the grapes get picked at cooler temperatures - and immediately brought up to the winery. This will translate into higher quality fruit, by allowing to retain the grapes acidity, as well as aromatics. The grapes were whole cluster pressed, using a slow cycle that gently pushes the must rendering clean juice but few solids. Winemaker Ana Diogo-Draper placed 100% of the juice into French oak barrels (40% new), using both classic Burgundy style barrels, as well as puncheon barrels. We place the barrels in a specially designed igloo, in our Barrel Room, so the juice would ferment at a low temperature. This technique allows us to retain the highly volatile aroma components, and therefore, produce a wine that has an intense aromatic profi le. 100% of the wine was native fermented, which means that no commercial yeast was added. After primary fermentation, roughly 50% of the lots went through malolactic fermentation, and then aged on its lees for a full 9 months, with weekly lees stirring, for about three months. The wines were tasted weekly and racked once prior to bottling. Our Block 92 Chardonnay is 100% grown, produced and bottled by Artesa.
The majority of the sections of Artesas Block 92 Chardonnay were planted in 1992 and hang on a south facing hillside overlooking the winery. This site is very unique in Los Carneros for two reasons: elevation & soil type. The southern sun exposure allows the grapes to ripen fully while retaining their natural acidity. The soils (Bressa-Dibble) are light textured silt loam and different from the common Carneros soils that are known as shallow, heavy clay. This unique terroir provides high drainage capacity and regulates vine vigor. The 20+ year old vines produce aromatic, highly concentrated grapes which express their place of origin with distinct minerality. Among the clone selections are Dijon 76, Wente and Clone 4. The Clone 4 is perfectly suited to foggy mornings and hot sunny summers. It provides fruit of great quality that retains acidity and intense flavors. The Wente clone gives us fruit that offers unique richness and concentration along with vibrant acidity and depth. The Dijon 76 clone displays opulence, lower acidity, and ripen fairly fast, adjusting perfectly to our Carneros terroir, where the growing season can be extended.
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.