The Russian River Valley Chardonnay has a slight earthiness that adds sophistication to its enticing aromas of citrus and tropical fruit. On the palate, a pithy texture and seamless hints of toasty oak provide richness, while accentuating the ripe pineapple, kiwi, and lime flavors that glide to a zesty, mineral-driven finish.
All grapes went direct to press as whole clusters, with gentle pressing to preserve the bright, delicate characteristics we prize. After settling, the juice was racked into French oak barrels for fermentation to give the wine just a hint of toast and spice. We used 41% new oak and 27% one-year-old oak (with the remainder being neutral) to allow the richness of the fruit to take centerstage. After primary fermentation, the wine went through secondary malo-lactic fermentation. This barrel-fermented wine was aged on the lees for nine months, with occasional stirring to increase richness. The final blend was assembled just prior to bottling, which occurred on November 16, 2021.
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, overall 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.
The seven vineyards used for this wine were all harvested by hand on different days from September 10 to September 28. This diversity adds another element of complexity and intrigue to the blend. Braughton Vineyard is located just east of Green Valley, so it has slightly warmer grower conditions that produce a rich and fruitful expression on the nose. The Shop Block is planted to the Wente selection, which delivers small berries and clusters with intriguing floral aromatics. The Jewell and Woolsey Vineyard were our latest picked vineyards and bring amazing acidity and verve.