Chardonnay is a very versatile variety and is grown in many different countries and regions, each providing its own interpretation and ‘personality’. Paso Robles is not your typical Chardonnay environment. It has seasonably very warm days but, thankfully, cooler nights which result in the grapes having the ability to become quite ripe. There has been a tendency in the past, particularly in California to produce very ripe Chardonnay styles and load them up with oak.
This has led to the formation of ABC (Anything But Chardonnay) consumers who we have targeted to return to drinking one of the most widely planted white varieties. Chris Cameron, our Australian Winemaker, has benefited greatly from experiencing Chardonnay production in many regions and countries. Warm climate Chardonnay winemaking is tricky business and his approach through reductive handling produces wines of fresher fruit and brighter appearance.
The 2012 Chardonnay is a bit of a ‘beast’. The fruit was very ripe (due to the drought conditions leading up to harvest) and demanded a range of winemaking techniques to keep it in balance. It underwent barrel fermentation, partial malolactic fermentation and extended lees contact. It has tons of flavor and will pair well with foods that enhance the characters such as poultry, pasta and risotto dishes.