Bright and a touch precocious, the 2017 Salus Chardonnay is an aromatic delight of yellow citrus, apical golden apple and Bosc pear just past crisp with hints of honeysuckle, muskmelon and roasted almond.
Balancing weight and lift, the powerful pomaceous fruit core is sheathed in light and energy, where flavors of sliced cantaloupe meet the abundant soft acids of ripe grapefruit and the smallest sprinkle of crystalized ginger.
2017 was a growing season for the record books – from drought ending winter rains to late summer heat events. The wettest winter in almost two decades along with the extended dormancy of a decently cold winter allowed the vines to rest and recover from a 5 year stretch of abundant activity and gave us a later budbreak. Though the late spring and early summer were defined by peaks and valleys compared to other ‘goldilocks’ years that enjoyed less varied and consistent conditions, we had a good and healthy crop of Chardonnay fruit that was well positioned to benefit from the overall warm growing conditions which proved similar to both 1997 and 2015. With temperatures rising rapidly toward the end of August, we harvested all of the Estate Chardonnay in a compact 9 day window.
The grapes were picked in the cool early mornings to maintain their freshness, natural acidity and delicate flavors. We continue to utilize traditional Burgundian winemaking techniques, while respecting the unique quality of the fruit our vineyard delivers. The grapes are hand sorted, whole cluster pressed and then barrel-fermented. We generally restricted malo-lactic fermentation to preserve acidity and crispness, but allowed a small percentage of the wine to go through it for a bit of increased texture and to balance the higher acids. Finally, we aged this wine on its lees for ten months in entirely large format barrels again with periodic ‘batonnage’ only in the first few months to optimize the aromatic freshness of the wines.
10 months 53% new, 47% used