Our 2021 Estate Chardonnay is vibrant and focused, with classic acidity and structure.
2021 has a brilliant yellow color with green highlights. The entry is round while the midpalate reveals a backbone of acidity and minerality, with citrus peel, green apple, honeysuckle and river stones. The wine is richly textured with a long, balanced finish.
Winter was extremely cold, with an historic ice-storm that left the region without power for over two weeks. It remained cool and wet throughout early spring but warmed up, in time to have a major heat dome event at the end of June with a record-breaking 116 F temperature scorching trees and killing vegetation all over the region. The resiliency of the non-irrigated soils in our vineyards, having fractured basalt as an insulating influence as well as the source of stored rainwater, meant that our vines almost had no negative effect and were verdant all the way through and after the experience. The heat event had the positive effect on our vineyard that helped to reduce the mildew pressure we normally experience after a wet spring.
The fruit field sorted, hand-picked, then whole cluster pressed, settled in tank for 24 hours on average, barrel fermented with wild yeast in a combination of 21% new, lightly toasted 500-liter puncheons and barriques, and 79% old French oak puncheons and barriques from diverse coopers, then left to age for 11 months on lees. Full malolactic fermentation completed spontaneously in each barrel. The wines were combined in tank with their lees for five months prior to bottling.
Food Pairing Notes
The round texture given the wine by the low yielding CH548 clone makes this a good match for shellfish dishes with drawn butter or sauces, and seafood pastas, poached or sautéed seafood, gumbos, paella, steamed vegetables with lemon and herbs, and roast lemon chicken. Experimentation is welcome!