2016 Estate Chardonnay
For complexity and texture, we did a traditional pigeage for two to three hours, and allowed one-third skin contact. To accentuate the signature fruit and natural nuttiness of our estate grapes, we also fermented this wine with 100% indigenous yeast. Aging occurred in both barrels (85%) and larger casks (15%), all of which were French oak (5% new). The wine was fermented sur lie for 8 months and underwent 90% indigenous malolactic fermentation.
Five blocks of Chardonnay are planted in the well-drained, benchland soils. The famous Gauer Upper Barn clone, one of California’s most sought-after Chardonnay selections, comprises 80 percent of these vines. The 2016 Estate Chardonnay is crafted primarily from a mix of Gauer, Robert Young and clone 4 fruit. From the Gauer clone, the Chardonnay derives flavors of Asian pear, spice and a natural nuttiness, the Robert Young grapes add lovely acidity and the clone 4 grapes contribute mild tropical flavors.