A hazy, golden-green colour in the glass, this Chardonnay indices with Aromas of lemon curd and orange blossoms intermingled with croissants and wet stones. Flavours of white plums, blood-orange zest and apple are heightened by a hint of anise and salty minerality. The crisp, persistent finish carries through to the next sip.
Chardonnay is the world’s most famous white-wine grape and also one of the most widely planted with the most highly regarded expressions of the variety coming from Burgundy and California. Climate plays a major role in dictating which fruit flavours a Chardonnay will have. Broadly speaking, warm regions such as California tend to give more tropical styles. While many Chardonnays have high aromatic complexity, this is usually due to winemaking techniques (particularly the use of oak) rather than the variety’s intrinsic qualities. Malolactic fermentation gives distinctive buttery aromas. Fermentation and/or maturation in oak barrels contributes notes of vanilla, smoke and hints of sweet spices such as clove and cinnamon. Extended lees contact while in barrel imparts biscuity, doughy flavours.
Russian River Valley, one of the United States’ top-ranked wine regions, is located at the heart of Sonoma County. The area generally lies between Sebastopol and Santa Rosa in the south, and Forestville and Healdsburg in the north. It is one of California’s coolest and foggiest AVAs (particularly in its southern and western portions), and its cool growing season and long, slow ripening period promotes complexity and balance in the wines. As a result, Russian River Valley wines are widely respected, particularly those made from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
This vineyard, owned by the renowned vineyard manager Jim Pratt, is located on the left bank of the Laguna de Santa Rosa just north of Sebastopol. Surrounded by famed vineyards from Kistler, Dehlinger, and the Duttons, it produces world-class wines of distinction. With over 30 years of experience nurturing grape vines, Jim’s attention to detail and quality of fruit delivered to the winery is matched by few. Planted with Robert Young and Mt. Eden heritage chardonnay clones, the Pratt Vineyard enjoys warm days and is cooled in the evenings by cold air draining into the Laguna de Santa Rosa.
Hand-crafted using old-world techniques and style it is barrel-fermented in 100% French oak. Aged 16 months in French oak, 10% new/ 90% second use or older. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.