ESTATE GROWN — Columbia Valley

• pH: 3.46
• TA: 0.60g / 100 ml
• ALCOHOL: 13.7%
• BOTTLED: September 2010
• PRODUCTION: 3,500 cases


Vintage

Spring came a little late to the Columbia Valley for this vintage. The vines reacted by delaying their bud break about two weeks later than what we normally see, protecting their tender young shoots from cold and frost. Early summer started off beautifully, but July and continuing through to August brought stretches of record-breaking high temperatures. With the onset of intense heat the possibility of big overripe wines and sunburned grapes is always on our minds. The worst was avoided with September temperatures returning to normal with only a brief heat spike. The hot summer made up for the late start to the growing season and the Chardonnay ripened beautifully. Picking of our Block 1 hillside Chardonnay began on the 12th of September and we concluded harvesting our organically certified block 17 Chardonnay on the 29th of September.


Winemaking

Our Estate Grown Chardonnay was harvested in the cool morning hours and brought directly to the winery for pressing. We pressed the juice to tank and settled it for 24 hours at 55 degrees Fahrenheit to keep the juice fresh and vibrant. Fermentation was conducted in both 60 gallon oak barrels and stainless steel tanks with different goals in mind. Barrel fermentation provides complexity from the juice and yeast interacting with the wood. Additional character is gained from the close proximity to the spent yeast once fermentation is complete. Fermentation in tank allows for cooler fermentation temperatures and maintains fresh fruit character and acidity. Once the primary fermentation is complete, the wines are inoculated for malo-lactic fermentation. During this secondary process the sharper malic acid is transformed into the softer and richer lactic acid, adding to the body and mouth feel of the wine. Post fermentation the wines are aged on the yeast lees for 10 months, allowing the wine to mature nicely. Blending of the individual wines into a master cuvee accompanied by gentle filtration and bottling completes the process of our 2009 Estate Grown Chardonnay.


Winemaker Comments

Aromas of baked pears framed with baking spices mingle with nuances of honeysuckle and early summer peaches. On the palate a mix of Golden Delicious and Granny Smith apples merge with characters of toasty oak and coconut. This wine has a long savory finish with hints of lavender and vanilla. This food friendly wine pairs well with fish in cream sauce.