Crafted around a core of the beautifully aromatic 809 Chardonnay Clone, this wine leaps out of the glass with flirtatious layers of honeysuckle and sun-ripened apricots. On the palate, the Clone 6 and 7 grapes provide excellent structure and complexity, framing the lush fruit flavors, with nuanced hints of French oak elevating and lengthening the finish.
The season began with a warm winter, with no frost issues, and a mild spring that resulted in a nice, even fruit set. While the summer was quite warm, there were only a couple of short heat spikes, which ensured that the grapes were able to fully ripen while retaining the natural acidity we love. As a result, our Chardonnay crop was balanced and healthy, yielding wines with vibrant flavors and excellent depth and energy. Two different blocks were used to make this Chardonnay. 78% of the fruit is clone 809, which has unique, floral, almost Muscat-like aromas. The distinctive aromatic clone is what prompted us to bottle this unique Chardonnay. The other clone is a field blend of clones 6 and 7 from old vines planted in 1987, which happens to be MacRostie’s founding vintage. The vineyard was picked on September 10 and 12.
The grapes were harvested as whole clusters and pressed on the same day. The juice was cold-settled for 48 hours before being racked into a temperature-controlled stainless steel tank and t hen barreled for fermentation. The wine was aged in 44% new French oak and 33% one-year-old barrels to give the wine additional depth and structure. The wine was given extended aging for 14 months before being bottled on December 7, 2021.
Dale Ricci is a longtime farmer in the Sonoma Coast’s famed Carneros region. His vineyard lies along Ramal Road near San Pablo Bay, where fertile clay-loam soils and undulating hills combine with westerly afternoon winds to create an ideal terroir for growing Chardonnay.