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.