Wildcat Mountain Vineyard Chardonnay always delivers something special and unique, and this vintage is no exception. Both intricate and exotic, this wine begins with alluring aromas of Asian pear and fragrant orange blossom. On the palate, a round, rich mouthfeel accentuates Wildcat’s signature high-tone notes of honey and spice. At the same time, thanks to Wildcat’s windy growing conditions, which thicken the grape skins, it has beautiful structure and body.
The grapes went directly to press as whole clusters. The resulting juice was cold settled, racked off of its press lees, and moved directly to barrel for a cool fermentation. It was then aged in these same French oak barrels for 10 months, with 20% of the oak being new. The fermentation lees were stirred several times throughout the aging process. Once malolactic conversion was complete, the wine was left to age. The very best barrels from each lot were then selected for our Wildcat Mountain Vineyard Chardonnay. The wine was bottled on August 5, 2016.
The 2015 vintage started with an early budbreak that accelerated the pace of the vintage. We had heat accumulation that added up quickly, which led to an earlier harvest compared to most vintages. Grapes were picked from four distinct blocks planted to four different clones: 95, 76, 4 and 15. Each block had a unique harvest picking date between September 8 and 19.
The grapes for this Chardonnay came exclusively from Wildcat Mountain Vineyard, owned by Steve MacRostie and his partners Nancy and Tony Lilly. At Wildcat, the vines dig into the sparse volcanic soil and stand firm against the strong winds that race in off of the Pacific Ocean most afternoons. This fog-shrouded mountaintop vineyard is a classic Sonoma Coast site. Cool and challenging, it yields wines of great distinction.