ESTATE GROWN — Columbia Valley

• COMPOSITION: 100% Chardonnay
• pH: 3.98
• TA: 4.88g / 100 ml
• ALCOHOL: 13.4%
• BOTTLED: August 2014
• PRODUCTION: 386 cases


Vintage

The 2013 growing season embodied the recurring theme of warm and dry. Hot, 90 degree temperatures came on suddenly in early spring, lasting for almost six days. These stretches of hot weather came and went frequently throughout the entire growing season. Even more bizarre were the cold snaps that often followed the periods of hot weather. Two of these were major storms, one at the end of spring and a second just after we finished picking our Chardonnay. The resilient grapevine sucked up all the delicious heat and translated it into golden globes full of ripe fruit flavors, while the colder and turbulent weather gave the vines a chance to rest and recuperate. The result was some of the best Chardonnay fruit we have ever produced. Harvest of our 2013 Chardonnay began on the 16th of September and ended three days later on the 19th.


Winemaking

Our goal with the Reserve Chardonnay program is to create a wine exhibiting finesse and elegance. This requires great attention to every detail during harvest. We begin by harvesting our Chardonnay grapes at daybreak, ensuring they arrive at the winery refreshed from the night air. The fruit is immediately pressed using the lightest press setting, extracting only the finest juice within. After a 24 hour period of cold settling, we racked the juice to new French and American oak barrels for fermentation. During racking a portion of the juice solids are taken to barrel to increase complexity. The extra solids also help with the integration of wood and wine, preventing the oak from dominating the fruit. The oak can then play its proper role, supporting the wine and lifting the fruit characters to heights unattainable without the new barrels. Post primary fermentation we inoculated the wine to initiate malo-lactic fermentation. This conversion of malic acid to lactic acid rounds out the wine and increases mouth-feel. At this stage, battonage or the stirring of the lees commences. This serves the dual purpose of protecting the wine from unwanted oxidation and actively encourages the lees to contribute structure back to the aging wine. Upon completion of the malo-lactic fermentation small amounts of sulfur dioxide are added to protect the wine during its elevage. Of the original 22 barrels of finished wine 14 were chosen for the final cuvee.


Winemaker Comments

Ripe honeydew melon and tropical papaya layered with touches of caramel, vanilla bean and toasted marshmallow is the calling card of this aromatic Chardonnay. This wine opens with a round, silky texture neatly intertwined with weight and character derived from French oak and extended lees contact. This is followed by freshly picked apple and lemon zest with a savory yet palate cleansing finish rounding out our 2013 Reserve Chardonnay.