VINEYARDS Located in the coastal foothills of the Santa Lucia Mountain Range, the vineyards we select for our Reserve Monterey County Chardonnay are consistently cooled by the marine layer funneled in from the Monterey Bay throughout the growing season. Fog that is late to burn off, and a cool midday breeze, extend hang time to allow us to pick at the peak of the fruit's flavor and acidity. This wine is produced with the goal of making it an effortless, everyday drinker, without compromising its natural elegance.
VINTAGE NOTES Much to the delight of both grape growers and winemakers, the 2016 vintage carried through from beginning to end, with ideal conditions and ideal results. Long-awaited rainfall during the winter and early spring replenished desperate reservoirs and ground water, easing the concerns generated by several years' worth of drought conditions. The summer was kind, with only a few heat spikes, which then carried over into a true Indian Summer; keeping daytime temperatures above normal, and the mornings foggy and cool throughout the peak month of September, permitting us to take our time in evaluating and calling picks at their optimal maturity. Nature patiently waited for us to bring in our final lots before returning with the rain that has traditionally been the signal for the end of the harvest season.
WINEMAKING Each vineyard and clone are picked and whole-cluster pressed separately to stainless steel tanks to cold settle for two to three days. The juice is then racked to 30% new French oak and inoculated with different strains of yeast, each chosen to accentuate the given vineyard's best traits. All lots undergo full or partial secondary fermentation, and are aged sur lie for 7 months before being bottled.
TASTING This Chardonnay has a delicious bouquet of ripe golden pear, tropical pineapple, and sweet honeydew melon, along with aromatic apple blossom, and creamy vanilla bean. The carefully chosen, lightly impactful French oak serves to convey a perceived sweetness that is perfectly balanced by the clean acidity around the edges of the palate. Although deceivingly full bodied, the wine maintains a juicy mouthfeel and a clean, concise finish.