Remarkable richness and complexity, impeccably balanced by bright clarity of fruit and refreshing acidity. Unmistakably true to the variety, the fruity elements - fresh Bosc pear, vibrant quince and traces of lemon curd – are interwoven with warm, toasty oak and toasted hazelnut, verbena and undertones of crushed chalk. The creamy, luxurious mouth feel offers a vital sense of lift that leads to an extravagantly long, resonant finish.
92 points - Wine Enthusiast - December 2013
"Fine acidity and a bracing minerality, like a lick of cold steel on a winter day, mark this Chardonnay. It has oak notes, but they're wisely kept in the background, allowing the citrus, green apple and peach flavors to star. This beautiful wine continues the winery's string of great reserve Chardonnays, and is their best since the 2006 vintage." - S.H.
100% Carneros, Napa Valley
With its cooling marine influence the Carneros region, at the southern end of the valley, is the acknowledged home of the valley’s finest Chardonnay. Over 70% of the grapes for the 2011 vintage were sourced from the renowned Hyde Vineyard. Planted to heritage selections, Hyde Vineyard brings classic fresh apple, pear and spice notes to the blend. Other key sites within the Carneros District provided us with excellent blending material, each bringing even greater complexity to the wine.
We hand-harvested the grapes into one half ton bins at daybreak and gently pressed them as whole clusters to retain fruity flavors and delicacy. Slow, cool native-yeast fermentation in Burgundian-style barrels (58% new French oak) added layers of complexity, ensured seamless integration of fruit and oak and enhanced the mouth feel. As the new wine underwent malolactic fermentation, we began stirring each barrel twice a week, re-suspending the yeast lees, to gradually build in greater creaminess and further enrich the texture. When the wine reached optimal balance of fruit and oak flavors, it was blended and transferred to neutral barrels, with the lees, to continue aging for a total of ten months.