ESTATE GROWN — Columbia Valley

• pH: 3.94
• TA: 4.2 g/L
• ALCOHOL: 13.7%
• BOTTLED: January 2013
• PRODUCTION: 3,000 cases


Vintage

Our 2012 vintage endured a roller coaster of changing weather. With no hint of the pandemonium to come, spring began on time with normal temperatures. This quickly gave way to unusual temperature fluctuations, with a brief heat wave in April, followed by a downward temperature spike and unsettled weather. Once again in May the heat returned, only to again quickly give way to cold and rain. As summer began, our June was cold and damp while July brought humidity and thunderstorms. Lightning-caused fires created an enduring smoky haze which blew continually across the Columbia valley. In August the sticky heat turned to dry and we reached triple-figures a few days. September brought only slight relief to the heat, which meant the fruit was ready for picking on the last day of summer. We harvested our 2012 Estate Chardonnay from the 21st of September through the 26th.


Winemaking

We harvested our estate grown Chardonnay during the cool hours of morning and brought it directly to the winery for pressing. The freshly squeezed juice was transferred to tank and settled 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. 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. In 2012 we introduced an additional technique for malo-lactic fermentation (MLF), co-inoculation. 24 hours after we added the yeast, a starter culture for the MLF was introduced. Early inoculation gives the culture a better chance to grow and acclimate to the new environment without the toxic effect of alcohol on the bacteria. With a rapid MLF we were able to protect the wines sooner than in previous vintages, preserving the fresh fruit character of the grape. Once all fermentations were complete, the individual cuvees were combined, bringing together all the pieces of the final blend in preparation for bottling. The wine was settled and chilled in tank before being gently filtered and bottled.


Winemaker Comments

Our 2012 Estate Chardonnay is a joyful expression of youthfulness and vibrancy – the wine exhibits just a hint of green hue reminiscent of new spring growth. This Chardonnay has aroma in abundance with melon, papaya, honeysuckle, ripe fresh grapes and touches of vanilla. A soft inviting texture with flavors of lemon meringue pie, hints of wood smoke and snicker-doodle spice. A lively and lingering finish makes this wine a perfect accompaniment to an easy summer evening. Enjoy!