ESTATE GROWN — Columbia Valley
• COMPOSITION: 100% Chardonnay, Gordon Bros. Estate, Organically Farmed
• pH: 3.73
• TA: 0.48g /100 ml
• ALCOHOL: 13.9%
• BOTTLED: September, 2009
• PRODUCTION: 240 cases
With a cold start to the growing season September made up for the early lack of heat with an average daytime high of 80°F. This warmth coupled with ample sunlight from our Northern latitude provided excellent ripening conditions for the 2008 Reserve Chardonnay. We hand picked this special block next to the winery on the 24th of September.
The goal with the Reserve Chardonnay is finesse and elegance. To this end the fruit is harvested at daybreak and brought to the winery while the fruit is still cold. Upon arrival the fruit is immediately transferred to our press where it begins its transformation. For the Reserve program only the early press
juice on our lightest press setting of 0.2 bar is used for this wine. After cold settling the juice for 24 hours it is then racked to new French and American oak barrels. During racking a majority of the juice solids are taken with the juice to increase complexity. The extra solids also help with the integration of wood and wine preventing the oak from dominating the fruit. Instead the oak supports the wine and lifts the fruit characters to heights unattainable without the barrels. Once the primary fermentation is complete we inoculate for the malolactic fermentation to round out the wine and increase mouth-feel. Post inoculation the wines are stirred on a weekly basis using the lees as a tool for additional structure. When the fermentation is complete small amounts of sulfur are added to protect the wine from oxidation. The stirring of the lees is continued all the way up to the final barrel selection. Of the original 16 barrels of finished wine only 10 were chosen for the final cuvee.
As aromas of crisp Asian pear and hints of exotic flowers enter the nose you are reminded of an Alpine meadow on a warm summer day. The palate starts with lemon zest and stones from a cold mountain creek but quickly gives way to the underlying richness of caramelized crème brulee. As the wine travels over the palate faint hints of marzipan and sandalwood dance in the background behind a touch of confectioner’s sugar. This wine leaps gracefully to a mouthwatering finish that requires another sip just to confirm the experience. With structure and grace in spades this wine requires a meal of the same caliber. Utilizing the mineral component of seafood and the richness of a cream sauce could be an outstanding pairing.