The 2015 Silhouette starts with beautiful hints of fresh almonds, acacia and citrus notes. The wine then evolves towards exotic fruits with papaya, mango and peach. In the mouth it is defined by a beautiful length with an abundance of mineral notes and outstanding acidity. The mouthfeel is extremely intense but very fresh and elegant as well.
Silhouette is our limited production, top white wine. Each vintage, our very best Chardonnay fruit goes into the Silhouette bottling. For the 2015 vintage, the wine is comprised of grapes grown on our Stanly Ranch Estate Vineyard and the neighboring Hyde Vineyard in Carneros. The 2015 growing season in Napa Valley started out with unseasonably warm temperatures in the late winter and early spring. This resulted in an early bud break and bloom. Colder temperatures in May (during the peak of bloom) caused uneven fruit set which ultimately resulted in much smaller crop. 72% Stanly Ranch Estate Vineyard, 28% Hyde Vineyard was used.
Our vine-by-vine farming approach coupled with hand sorting in the vineyard and at the winery ensured that we picked and crushed only the best quality grapes. The harvest was one of the earliest on record in Napa Valley, beginning on July 22 with the picking of grapes for sparkling wine, and concluding for most vintners and growers by mid-October.
The grapes for Silhouette were handpicked at peak ripeness and hand sorted before being gently pressed until only one bar of pressure. The juices were cold settled overnight and then drained to barrel with maximum care to prevent oxidation. We were able to achieve native primary and malolactic fermentations. Total fermentation time was 10 months with malolactic happening at the same time as the alcoholic fermentation, enhancing integration of oak and flavors. Silhouette is such a captivating wine and challenging for our production team. We take all the possible risks allowing long native fermentations and are constantly monitoring its progress. It is a very tricky wine to make, an exercise of balance with one goal in mind: finesse, refinement and complexity. Our aim is to surprise you with this wine, to create a Chardonnay like you have never tasted before; unique, surprising and noble with the ability to age for 10 years or more.
The wine was aged for 16 months on full lies in 50% new French oak barrels 50% from Troncais, Jupilles and Fontainebleau forests in central France