We love the crisp minerality of Burgundian Chardonnays. Mersault wines are our inspiration. We have designed our California Chardonnays to reflect the characteristics of these lovely wines. To achieve our flavor profile, we start with selecting vineyards from cool climates with strong wind signatures. Our Chardonnays come from the Sierra Mar and the Soberanes Vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation, and from Gap’s Crown Vineyard in the Sonoma Coast appellation.
We follow what happens in Burgundy by taking our wine through a slow and cold primary fermentation, delaying the fermentation as long as possible through the fall and winter seasons, followed by malolatic fermentation in the spring. We start by harvesting the grapes in the early morning hours and transporting them immediately to the winery. The grapes are cold pressed and cold settled overnight before being inoculated at a low rate with Burgundian yeast. The wine is sur lie aged in barrels and then experiences full secondary malolatic fermentation in the spring. We use a mix of new and one-year old French oak barrels from the Allier, Vosages, Troncais and Bertranges forests. The wines are bottled unfined. The results are wines that have bright uplifting acids, well-structured mouth feel, wonderful phenolics and creamy finishes. Hazelnut and almonds and many citrus and tropical flavors prevail.
Santa Lucia Highlands
We first introduced our Soberanes Vineyard Chardonnay with the 2011 vintage (following our 2010 vintage Pinot Noir from this vineyard). It is typically characterized by vivid fruit, mouthfilling richness and extraordinary length. The Wente Clone yields a mixture of wonderful fruit flavors that can include melon, mango, peach, apricot and coconut. We produce 200 to 250 cases a year.
2014 will be the inaugural vintage of our Sierra Mar Chardonnay. As with the 2014 Pinot Noir from this same vineyard, we are excited to see what this well-regarded vineyard will produce for us. We expect to produce 200 to 250 cases a year.
Our 2013 Gap's Crown Vineyard Chardonnay is our first from this vineyard (as is our 2013 Pinot Noir from this vineyard). This wine benefits from a wonderful combination of three Dijon clones, 76, 95 and 96. Our first vintage is a striking wine, with a bright palate and sleek structure. Pear, white peach and apple flavors help make this an intensely flavored yet elegant wine. We produce 200 to 250 cases a year.