Our classic Chardonnay has bright flavors with just a hint of body from the barrel aging.
The Russian River defines the Alexander Valley with foggy mornings, warm days and diurnal temperature swings of 40 to 50 degrees. Estate vineyards, combined with classic winemaking techniques accentuate the balance of fruit and acidity in our Chardonnay.
The 2020 growing season enjoyed near-perfect growing conditions. The year began with un-seasonably warm temperatures, and lower than normal rainfall. This was followed by weeks of steady daytime heat and cool evenings, allowing the grapes to ripen evenly. At harvest, the quality of the fruit was excellent with high acidity and intense flavors.
We harvest 70% of our Chardonnay at night when the grapes are cool to retain the natural acidity, then cold ferment those lots in stainless steel, without malolactic fermentation or barrel aging, to highlight the citrus and green apple flavors. We whole-cluster press 30% of the best fruit and barrel ferment that portion in French oak barrels. The barrel fermented lots undergo secondary malolactic fermentation and age on the lees for six to eight months to develop roundness and body.
The 2020 is a full bodied, well balanced Chardonnay with just a hint of richness from the minimal barrel aging. Aromas of apple, pear along with a tropical notes of pineapple and vanilla fill the glass. Hints of citrus and bright flavors of pear, apple, tropical fruits and peaches are balanced by the rich mouthfeel.
2020: 96 points & Five Stars - Beverage Dynamica/Cheers
2020: 95 points & Double Gold Medal - Sunset International Wine Competition
2020: 91 points - California State Fair
2020: Gold Medal - San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo Wine Competition