Through the judicious use of oak, we seek to complement, not detract from, the gorgeous tropical fruit flavors that are the hallmark of Monterey Chardonnay. Our Chardonnay has aromas of apple and pear that lead into a lively blend of tropical fruit and citrus flavors with hints of vanilla and caramel on the lingering finish.
The grapes for our 2014 vintage were sourced from four of our estate vineyards. The northernmost vineyard, Riverview, is located near Soledad and delivers concentrated flavors and a distinct minerality. Our Scheid – Arroyo Seco Vineyard delivers with bright tropical fruit flavors. Mesa del Rio and Viento Vineyards are in the Greenfield area and are planted to Dijon clones 76 and 96. This fruit brings vibrancy, excellent structure and acidity. This quadruplet of vineyards creates a synergy where the whole is definitely greater than the sum of the parts. The 2014 growing season was about as perfect as a winemaker could wish – mild temperatures throughout the spring, a warm but not overly hot summer, and sunny conditions that held until the last grape was picked. On the heels of an excellent 2013 vintage, it exceeded our expectations in every way.
The grapes were hand-picked and gently whole-cluster pressed. The juice was chilled and lightly settled before 56% was transferred to stainless steel tanks and slowly fermented at a cool temperature to enhance the varietal aromatics. The balance was fermented in predominately small French oak barrels. Aging of the barrel portion continued sur lie (on the lees) for 8 months with periodic stirring to incorporate the lees back into the wine. Lees are the remnants of yeast cells that settle to the bottom of the container after fermentation is complete. Allowing the wine to rest in contact with them adds a richer texture, complexity and fuller mid-palate to the wine. The barrel portion was then blended with the stainless steel selection, resulting in a wine that delivers the essence of Chardonnay: freshness, vibrancy, richness and complexity.