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 fruit aromas of Meyer lemon and fresh pineapple. 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 engaging 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 16th, 2018.
The 2017 growing season started off as a wet one. Record rainfall through April invigorated the vines and bolstered canopies. Moderate-to-warm temperatures followed, allowing the vines to bloom and mature fruit in a balanced and tempered way. We did apply more leafing in our canopy management to counter the invigorating effects of the rain. All of our Chardonnay blocks were picked prior to the devastating wine country fires in early October, leaving all wine lots free of possible smoke influence. Grapes were picked from three distinct blocks planted to three different clones: 95, 76, and 15. Each block had a unique harvest date between September 14th and 16th, 2017.
Planted by Steve MacRostie in 1998, and located in the cool Petaluma Gap region of the Sonoma Coast, Wildcat Mountain Vineyard possesses an ideal mountain terroir and remarkable volcanic soils that consistently produce fruit with intensity and depth of flavor. Very close to the bay, yet 700 feet above sea level, this vineyard is windy, foggy, cool, and very stingy with its crop levels, which results in exceptional wines. This sustainably-certified vineyard is broken up into 18 different blocks spread across five fields, with a variety of elevations, exposures and soil types. Wildcat’s Chardonnay offers exceptional structure, sophisticated minerality and cool-climate “nerve,” while the Pinot Noir delivers sumptuous color, weight and black fruit character.