Bright straw yellow core, fading to a pale yellow rim. Asian pear, guava, and tropical fruits on the nose, with butterscotch and vanilla undertones from barrel fermentation.
Beginning in the late 1970s, wineries recognized Alexander Valley as a "sweet spot” for Chardonnay. The continental climate with hot summers and brisk nights results in rich, full-bodied Chardonnays with multidimensional orchard and tropical fruit notes. Our inaugural release is sourced from a blend of two vineyard sites: Rancho Miguel Vineyard, planted to the famous Robert Young Clone, features unctuous tropical fruit, and Lopez Vineyard, comprised of Clone #4, with green apple acidity and structure. Both sites are on the Russian River and feature well-draining alluvial soil. The 2008 vintage started off early due to another dry, warm winter. However, there was a damaging frost in late April—the worst frost since 1970! - and our yields were dramatically decreased. Summer was very dry, with less fog than usual, depressing vigor. Due to low yields, we began harvesting the first week of September and finished by mid-month. The high-yielding Clone #4 shone this vintage, with amazing richness and complexity. The Lopez Vineyard lot was barrel fermented in new and used French and American Oak barrels; however, we discouraged malolactic fermentation in this lot to preserve acidity. In contrast, the Rancho Miguel Vineyard lot was fermented entirely in neutral French Oak barrels to highlight tropical fruit notes and underwent complete malolactic fermentation to add richness and complexity. By blending both lots, we achieved an excellent fruit to acidity balance with less "buttery” flavors common in full malolactic fermentation. We bottled this wine after 7 months of sur lie aging.
14.3% abv pH:3.44