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Our estate is bordered by the Russian River and since 1975 we have showcased this location with our Estate Chardonnay. The vines are planted on some of the coolest sites on our estate where morning fog is the norm. During the growing season the temperature drops between 40 to 50 degrees from day to night.
Overall, a more normal growing season than the last few years. While the drought was far from over, we received much needed rain over the winter and early spring. The good weather continued through the summer with no damaging heat spikes. Harvest started and ended early, yields were reduced a little, but the quality and flavor of the grapes were stellar.
We harvest 70% of our Chardonnay at night when the grapes are cool to retain the natural acidity, then cold ferment those lots in stainless steel, without malolactic fermentation or barrel aging, to highlight the citrus and green apple flavors. To add balance to the wine, we whole-cluster press 30% of the best fruit and barrel ferment that portion in French oak barrels. The barrel fermented lots also underwent secondary malolactic fermentation and aged on the lees for six to eight months to develop roundness and body.
There are fresh fruit aromas of apple, pear, pineapple, and vanilla mixed with floral notes and slight oak in the glass. The wine is rich and creamy with slight citrus notes along with crisp flavors of pear, apple, tropical fruits, and nectarines. The Viognier adds a slight floral component and a rich mouth-feel. This vintage has bright acidity, nice balance and a very long aftertaste.
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