Block 92, Estate Vineyard
Los Carneros, Napa Valley
Club Price $48.00
93pts - Wine Spectator
Our 2017 Chardonnay, Block 92 captures the essence of the highest block on our Estate. The vines on this steep, hillside block produce low yields of small intense berries with exceptionally concentrated flavors. Our winemaker picks this block by carefully balancing the fruits natural acidity with the optimum flavor resulting in a wine that is elegantly restrained, yet possesses incredible depth and power. Showing a true sense of place, this wine elegantly opens with citrus notes of Meyer lemon, delicately wrapped in white flowers rounding out the mid palate. Anas restrained use of oak results in a wine that is balanced and silky smooth on the palate. The finish has crisp acidity and hints of Honeycrisp apple, fresh pear, and jasmine. As this wine is enjoyable in its youth, those who show restraint will be rewarded as this wine will age with finesse and continue to develop for years to come.
735 cases produced"A refined style, with vibrant acidity backing the well-knit flavors of apple, pear and ripe melon. Toasty richness shows midpalate, featuring light buttery accents on the spicy finish."
Kim Marcus, Wine Spectator - 93ptsDownload Tech Sheet
Varietal Composition: 100% Chardonnay
Technical Data: TA: 5.7 g/L; pH: 3.61
Cooperage: 100% French Oak, 30% New
The grapes were hand harvested at night - ensuring that the grapes are picked at cooler temperatures - and immediately brought up to the winery. This translates into higher quality fruit, by allowing the winemaking team to retain the grape's natural 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 (30% 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 profile. 100% of the wine was native fermented, which means that no commercial yeast was added. After primary fermentation, roughly 40% 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 Artesa's Block 92 Chardonnay were planted in 1992 and hang on a south facing hillside overlooking the winery. This Los Carneros Site is very unique for two reasons: elevation & soil type. The northern 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 theclone 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.
The 2017 vintage saw generous winter rains that refreshed ground water supplies and led to a cool, mild spring which prepared the vineyards for the summertime heat. Harvest began for Artesa on August 11 and moved quickly. A long, even summer ripening season ended with high temperatures in excess of 100 degrees for five days in early August. As a result harvest was completed for us by late September, weeks ahead of usual, and before the devastating fires that broke out on October 8. The 2017 wines show ripe, concentrated flavors and excellent balance.