ESTATE GROWN — Columbia Valley

• COMPOSITION: 100% Chardonnay, Estate Grown
• pH: 3.68
• TA: 0.54g / 100 ml
• ALCOHOL: 13.7%
• RESIDUAL SUGAR: 0.2%
• BOTTLED: April 2009
• PRODUCTION: 5,000 cases


Vintage

The 2008 Vintage got off to a cold start with April record-low temperatures. The unusually cold spring resulted in a 2 week delay in bud break. Once we got past that, normal Columbia Valley summertime temperatures ensued with average daytime highs in the mid to upper 80’s and lows in the 50’s. The overall growing season was cloudier than 2007 but this seemed to have little impact on the development of the grapes. September of 2008 had the lowest precipitation on record with a mere 0.02 inches of rain for the month. The dry conditions helped the grapes ripen and harvest began on Sept 24th.


Winemaking

The Chardonnay grapes were picked from September 24 through October 6. The block next to the winery was picked first with the hillside block developing slightly slower. Most of the early lots went into neutral barrels for fermentation. 10 new barrels and 20 1-year old barrels were used to impart a gentle oak character into the wine. The remainder of the Chardonnay juice was fermented in tank to preserve the natural character of the grape and retain the natural acidity the growing season had given us. Multiple yeast strains were used both in tank and in barrel to add layers of flavor to the wines. Once the primary fermentation was complete the wines were inoculated with malolactic bacteria for the secondary fermentation.

The goal of the malolactic fermentation is to provide body and richness to the wine that could not be achieved otherwise. All the Chardonnay was kept on the lees and stirred on a weekly basis. This helps to protect the wine but also adds texture as the lees breakdown and contribute another dimension to the wine. In February the individual wines were blended together in tank. The wines were cold stabilized at 30 degrees for 3 weeks with daily stirring. After filtering, the wine was bottled at the beginning of April 2009.


Winemaker Comments

Pleasing aromas of pineapple and toffee greet the nose. Smooth and appealing for its balance, this wine presents flavors of pear, golden delicious apple, citrus zest and cloves. Lively acids invite these flavors to linger on the palate. Pair with citrus-sage roasted chicken, salmon or shellfish.