Nose

The 2013 Pahlmeyer Napa Valley Chardonnay opens with aromas of bright citrus zest, fleshy crane melon and notes of graham cracker.

Palate

The unctuous mouth feel leads with an elegant restraint and swath of slate that crescendo with flavors of fresh cider apples, juicy lychee and warming cardamom. The intense and silky finish lingers with spicy, earthy notes of white lily and lightly toasted almond.

Growing Conditions

Drought-like weather and a constant inversion layer created favorable conditions at our Pahlmeyer Waters Ranch Vineyard throughout the 2013 growing season. At 1,800 feet elevation, our Chardonnay fruit sits above the valley fog, soaking in direct sunlight, yet cooled by delta breezes. The result were small berries that drove intense, concentrated flavors balanced with superb acidity and structure. Despite being the earliest harvest in years, our 2013 wines are stunning in their rich coloring and outstanding complexity. Vineyards: Pahlmeyer Estate Vineyard, Atlas Peak Vineyard Sold out.

Bottling

It was neither fined, nor filtered before bottling on September 3, 2014.

Winemaking

Our Chardonnay was hand picked in late September, during the cool of the night, and promptly delivered to the winery where each cluster was sorted by hand, then gravity fed into the bladder press. The juice was streamed into stainless steel tanks and left to settle for 24 hours at 50 degrees. We then racked it to 100% French oak barrels to begin native-yeast fermentation. Each barrel was monitored daily, stirred only as needed to stimulate the process. At the precise completion of malolactic fermentation, we again racked the wines, comingling the lots for the first time.

Aging

The Chardonnay was returned to barrel, 90% new Francois Freres French oak, primarily Vosges very special grain, for another 11 months.