We in the Napa Valley have suffered an embarrassment of riches in terms of having a string of exceptional vintages in recent years. Starting in 2012 and continuing through 2015, each has provided near ideal conditions for ripening fruit perfectly. None, however, stands out in our memory like the 2014. For sheer volume of aroma and flavor in every variety we grow on the estate, 2014 is extraordinary. We’ve been playing with methods to build power and flavor into our Chardonnays for years now – mostly by employing old-fashioned methods of soaking the crushed fruit on the stems for hours or days or fermenting a portion of the fruit partially or to complete dryness with skins and stems. Continuing with the method of skin and stem contact ‘perfected’ in 2013, we expanded the amount wine in direct contact with stems in 2014 but pressed that portion off when very little alcohol had been created (at 20 Brix, the alcohol might be as little as 2%). This gave us the tannin grip we were looking for, the lime zest flavor in the mid-palate, and, whether it was the time on the skins, seeds, and stems or not, a pleasing coriander-like savory quality in the finish.
100% barrel fermented, 14 months in 20% new French oak