92 Points - Wine Advocate
"The 2014 Chardonnay Reserve delivers a wonderfully expressive nose of pineapple and guava with hints of toasted almonds, cashews and butterscotch. Medium to full-bodied with tons of opulent tropical fruit and nutty layers, it has a beautifully satiny texture and great freshness on the long, spicy finish." - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, October 2017
Sweeping aromas of toffee, nutmeg and clove
settle on rich apple pie, baked pear and macerated
Meyer lemon in the potent, polished profile of our
Reserve Chardonnay. Citrus notes grace round
Gala apples and poached pears on the entry, and
then dive into toast and crème brûlée. Tropical
fruit expands through the finish, touched by a hint
of caramel and baking spice. With refined acidity
and a clean palate, this is a wine to enjoy with food;
try pork chops stuffed with apples and rosemary
or steamed lobsters with drawn butter.
Each year, we select the best Chardonnay from
our vineyards to produce our reserve bottling.
This year, a majority of our fruit came from Star
Vineyard in Rutherford and Rodgers Vineyard
in Yountville. These two are planted to Dijon
and Wente clones, which produce small berries
with high skin-to-juice ratios, resulting in intense
aromatics and ripe, concentrated fruit. Each block
and clone is vinified individually to bring forward
the intrinsic character of that site. Once these
distinct characters are identified, we blend the
individual components into a harmonious whole.
2014 was a beautiful vintage along the lines of the recent outstanding vintages of 2012 and 2013. Although California’s continued drought brought another dry winter, the growing season started with a warm, dry spring and relatively early bud break. Summer temperatures remained mild and consistent with even, warm temperatures throughout. The overall quality and expressive fruit characteristics make this an outstanding vintage.
Lots are picked and tracked separately from the vineyard through the winery. Fermented in barrel with 100% malolactic fermentation before aging for 17 months in French Oak, 60% new, with twice weekly hand stirring resulting in a rich, creamy texture.