This is a bright Chardonnay, with the beautiful layers of fruit bursting in the glass – notes of honeysuckle, orange blossom, key lime and golden peach.The techniques used are designed to retain the signature Los Carneros aromas of lemon-citrus and white blossom while accentuating the minerality and vivid, fresh fruit flavors of citrus and stone fruits in the wine. Partial barrel fermentation and lees stirring create complex layers that impart hints of oak and wrap the flavors in a rich, generously textured mouthfeel and elegant finis
The grapes were hand-harvested at night, and brought over to the winery in the early morning hours. Winemaker Ana Diogo-Draper used different types of techniques to press the grapes: the majority of the grapes were whole-cluster pressed, using a slow cycle that gently pushes the must rendering clean juice but few solids. The remaining lots were a combination of destemmed and whole cluster grapes in the same press load. The grapes were able to macerate in the press for about 2 hours, being tasted every 15 minutes, in order to extract a distinct fruit profile. 70% of the juice was fermented in French oak barrels (30% new, the remainder was fermented in seasoned barrels); the lees were stirred once a week for three months, bringing added texture and richness to the mouthfeel. 30% of the juice was fermented in stainless steel, temperature controlled tanks, at a cooler temperature (45 - 50 F). This technique allows for the retention of highly volatile aroma compounds. This combination of oak and tank fermentation imparted richness and viscosity to the wine, without overwhelming it. Likewise, our winemaker allowed just 50% of the wine to undergo malolactic fermentation, rounding out the edges, but guaranteeing that the unique brightness of the Chardonnay fruit really comes through, with a hint of oak in the back palate. The wine was blended after nine months of aging, and then filtered and bottled.