Racy acidity and a crisp, bright mouthfeel are the hallmarks of this “naked” Chardonnay with no oak influence.
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.
The extended drought caused concern as the 2016 growing season began, but welcomed winter rain hinted at the relief to come. Following a relatively dry January significant rainfall arrived in February, along with mild temperatures. Bud break was early, but was slowed by heavy April showers. While still early by historical standards, picking began about a week later than 2015, in mid-September. A traditionally sized harvest followed the lighter vintage of 2015, and the extended mild season helped balance the acids and add complexity to the fruit.
Fruit was whole-cluster pressed to stainless steel for a cool fermentation and no malolactic fermentation or oak aging.