Aromas of freshly cut green apples with accents of caramelizing brown sugar and French vanilla define the aromatics.
The wine demonstrates a unique balance of firm acid, authentic fruit and a wonderful texture from the oak.
As with the past few years in the Napa Valley the overall yield was slightly under the 10 year average yet quality continued to be above average. The typical seasonal heat spikes were relatively placid. These heat spikes were immediately followed by slightly cool to cold snaps lasting 2‐3 days. The unusual cool recovery from the heat spikes speculatively helped the Chardonnay preserve the freshness and acidity naturally found within the grape. The growing season and resulting harvest was on average 2‐3 weeks earlier than normal which was well timed as the last half of October yielded a bit of rain which fortunately was a non‐issue for the Napa Valley’s 2016 vintage as the harvest was completed. In short 2016 was yet another great year within a decade already richly appointed with exceptional vintages.
The Chardonnay grapes are carefully harvested at night and brought into the cellar in the early hours at first light. The grapes are gently transferred to the press where the juice is extracted from the golden nearly translucent grapes. At this point the winemaking team evaluates the aromatics and unique sensory style of the vintage and determines which of the confidential yeast selections they will use to coax out the nuanced flavors of the vintage. After the yeast is added to the juice the winemaking team departs from convention in making this wine by performing primary and malolactic fermentation at the same time for nearly half of the blend. The simultaneous fermentations preserve the delicate floral aromatics by reducing oxygen exposure which produces a fresher and cleaner expression of Chardonnay with fresh acidity, adding to the depth and complexity of the wine. The wine underwent partial malolactic fermentation to preserve the remarkable freshness of the grape with aging in small French oak barrels to provide, depth, balance and extended character.