Carneros is characteristically intense with fresh lemon curd,
brioche, figs, saffron, and gun smoke.
The palate is full flavored
and textured with grapefruit pith and peach and a touch of
marzipan. The wine has penetrating intensity with lively acidity
and a chalky fine and nutty finish.
We purchased our Carneros vineyard decades ago and have
performed some crazy practices over its 40 years of life including
at one point re orientating the vineyard 90 degrees by twisting
the existing vines and then inter planting with younger vines to
fill the gaps and increase the planting density. The vineyard is a
combination of vines from 25 to 40 years and of multiple clones
and rootstocks. This inherent vine age and complexity have always
made great wine hence this vineyard was always the backbone of
our unfiltered wine. We have bottled individual bottlings
from this site in the past and again with the 2015 vintage.
The 2015 season was one of contrasts. The vintage was noted
by significantly reduced yields (-35-50%) a result of a cool and
damp flowering period in Spring which resulted in poor fruit set
and fewer berries per bunch. The Summer and Autumn were
hot and dry continuing the run of drought conditions which
commenced from the 2012 vintage. The quality of the fruit was
outstanding although in limited supply with the vintage likely to
be recognized as one of Napa Valley’s greatest.
Harvest date: September 5, 2015
The winemaking is classically simple and true to all our
Chardonnays. Hand harvested fruit at optimal maturity is whole
bunch pressed directly to oak (35% new) for natural fermentation
of the cloudy juice. The wine once finished fermentation is
allowed to complete its secondary malolactic fermentation
combined with regular barrel stirring to maintain the freshness
and build aromatic and textural complexity. The 2015 Carneros Chardonnay should easily cellar for 10+ years.