Notes of spiced pear and yellow apple come to the forefront of the aromatics, and a touch of jasmine adds a wonderful lift to the nose. Fruit sourced from mature vines provides great acidity and livens the palate, while balancing the tannin structure. Subtle minerality is apparent on the nose and palate and further adds depth and complexity.
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 in 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.
The Chardonnay for this blend was sourced from the Drake Estate Vineyard (Dijon clone, separate block irrigation), MacGregor Estate Vineyard (30 acres, Wente clone, drip irrigation), Simpatico Vineyard and the Lazy W Ranch.
Grapes were manually harvested and carefully transported to the winery where they are produced with minimal intervention. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel with the wine being aged on the primary yeast in tank.