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2006 Carneros Chardonnay

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About the Vineyard...
Our 2006 Chardonnay owes it style, depth, and structure to intensely flavored, low yielding, heirloom clones growing in two Carneros vineyards: on the Napa side, the Toyon Farm and on the Sonoma side, the Sangiocomo family’s Vella Ranch. We hand-selected the cuttings ourselves, from older vineyards in the Carneros area. These cuttings are reputed to have origins tracing to Paul Masson who imported them from Burgundy in the early 1940’s, from none other than Louis Latour's renowned Corton Charlemagne vineyard. These selections are often referred to as “Old Wente” or “Robert Young,” denoting the sourced mother blocks in the 1960s.

About the Vintage...
The 2006 vintage was a cool one, marked especially by cooler nights that slowed down the ripening process and allowed the grapes to develop and maintain significant levels of acidity. This continued at a measured pace, with no heat spikes, on through the harvest, which was definitely on the late side for Chardonnay, starting near the end of September and finishing on October 2nd.

About the Wine...
We aspire to guide our Chardonnay toward a layered, complex, and expressive style that develops gracefully in the bottle and shows enticing minerality, vivacious fruit, length and structure. For us, the watchword is balance. We gently pressed the grapes as whole clusters, settled and fermented entirely in French oak from three different coopers, chosen for their unique synergism and support of the fruit on the palate. Nearly half of the barrels were new. We used a variety of yeasts, including native strains, and fermentation proceeded evenly and slowly, averaging a cool 55°F. The wine was aged on its yeast lees, which were stirred weekly through May. Wine analysis: Alc. 14 %, pH 3.40, ta 6.1 g/l. 602 cases produced.

Tasting Notes...
Opulent and layered fruit: tangerine, melon, nectarine, white peach, figs, and lemon cream aromas are layered above brioche, holiday spices and crème brulleé. Exceptional richness fills out the palate with minerality and lush fruit textures, uplifted by citrus notes and acidity. The finish lingers, balancing between richness, minerals, and acidity.