Selection 92 (1.5L)
Los Carneros, Napa Valley
Club Price $96.00
93pts - Wine Specator
The 2018 Selection 92 Chardonnay represents the essence of the highest elevation blocks of Chardonnay on our Estate Vineyard in Carneros. Sitting high above the valley floor, our steep hillsides lend themselves to low vigor, and vines that produce small quantities of exceptionally concentrated fruit. Our winemaker Ana Diogo-Draper makes her picking decisions by carefully balancing the fruit's natural acidity with optimum flavor- resulting in a wine that is elegantly restrained, yet possesses incredible depth and power. Showing a true sense of place, this Selection 92 Chardonnay elegantly opens with citrus notes of Meyer lemon, delicately wrapped in jasmine blossom and honeysuckle rounding out the mid-palate. Ana's restrained use of oak lends a wine that is balanced and silky smooth on the palate. The wine finishes with crisp acidity and hints of Honeycrisp apple, pear, and vanilla bean. 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. Drink Now-2028.
870 cases producedDownload Tech Sheet
Varietal Composition: 100% Chardonnay
Technical Data: ALC: 14.3% TA: 7.7 g/L; pH: 3.45
Cooperage: 20% Stainless Steel, 80% French Oak with 30% New Oak
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 fruitby allowing the winemaking team to retain the grapes natural acidity, as well as aromatics. The grapes were whole cluster pressed, using a gentle champagne cycle that gently pushes the must rendering clean juice but few solids. Winemaker Ana Diogo-Draper placed 20% of the juice in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks, and the remaining 80% were placed into French oak barrels (30% new). Artesa uses both classic Burgundy style barrels (59 gallons), as well as puncheon barrels (132 gallon). We placed the barrels in a specially designed igloo, inside 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 individual lots went through malolactic fermentation, and the winemaking team tasted these components weekly to make bâtonnage decisions. These lots aged on lees for a full 9 months, with lees stirring for about three months. The wines were racked once prior to bottling. Our Block 92 Chardonnay is 100% grown, produced and bottled by Artesa.
The majority of the vineyard blocks of Artesas Selection 92 Chardonnay were planted in1992 and sit on a north facing hillside slope. 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 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 ripens fairly fast, adjusting perfectly to our Carneros terroir, where the growing season can be extended.
The perfect growing season on our estate, the 2018 vintage is characterized by moderate temperatures throughout the spring and summer that allowed for the ideal growing conditions; consistent and steady. We began harvest on August 21 followed by unseasonably cool weather that allowed for most of the fruit on our Estate to remain on the vine for an additional week or two. This extended hang-time was great for the maturation of flavors and overall quality of the fruit. Harvest again kicked into full swing in early September and was completed on October 20, about two weeks later than last year. The combination of a perfect growing season and a long harvest allowed for the fruit to demonstrate clean, mature flavors with wonderful balance and acidity. The 2018 wines will show elegantly yet with concentrated flavors that possess so much finesse for years to come.