Racy acidity and a crisp, bright mouthfeel are the hallmarks of this “naked” Chardonnay with no oak influence. Floral aromas of white hibiscus and light touches of orange blossom lead to flavors of pear, green apple, chamomile and citrus notes of meyer lemon and lemon zest with demonstrable mineral highlights. There is a welcomed textural element that reminds of Chablis, finishing with passion fruit. For those who prefer a lighter touch with oak, this will become a favorite.
Fruit for this crisply styled Chardonnay comes from well-established Carneros ranches in the cool southernmost growing region in Napa Valley. The vines have been grafted over to Dijon Clones 95 and 76, yielding small, intensely flavored berries. Shallow clay loam soils join with marine-influences from San Pablo and San Francisco Bays to keep temperatures moderate, allowing fruit to evolve with balanced acidity and flavors.
Early season rains brought yields back to normal levels this year, mitigating the extended drought that afflicted most of California. A cool spring resulted in normal timing for bud break, in late March. Temperatures remained fairly cool in May and June, but high temperatures in July triggered an early start to harvest. Quality was solid for the vintage overall.
Fruit was whole-cluster pressed to stainless steel for a cool fermentation and no malolactic fermentation or oak aging.