Hints of skin contact show up in the golden hues in the glass. Aromas of melon, pear and the unmistakable wet stone minerality from our Estate soils emanate from the glass. Upfront tropical acidity dominates the initial palate, then gains nuttier richness along the mid-palate. This melds with delicate French oak notes from the puncheon aging to produce a rich finish that is beautifully balanced by the persistent acidity.
The 2015 Paso Robles Chardonnay comes from our Estate Calcareous Vineyard. The Chardonnay blocks are planted on a slight South-Southeast facing slope. This facing shades the delicate Chardonnay fruit from the warm afternoon sun of Paso Robles. This allows for the production of remarkably bright fruit to be produced in what is generally too warm a location for Chardonnay. This facing combined with the thin Calcareous soil produce a very unique combination of ripe fruit, firm acidity, and abundant minerality.
The 2015 vintage was the 4th consecutive year of below normal rainfall, leading to small yields of intense fruit. The grapes were picked in the third week of August, hand-sorted and destemmed. The whole berry fruit was covered in carbon dioxide and cold soaked for 24 hours. It was then sent to the press and racked straight to barrel with no settling. Fermentation took place in barrels that were 30% new French puncheons which allows for the subtle introduction of oak. 70% was fermented in neutral French puncheons. Both lots were kept in the cool room which slowed the fermentation and stretched it out over 17 days. Once completed, the barrels were topped and the lees stirred weekly until the completion of malo-lactic fermentation in January. Lees stirring continued on the never racked barrels to extract unique flavors and protect the young wine without use of sulfites. After 7 months in barrel, the 2 lots were combined, sulfured and returned to barrel for an additional 2 months of aging before bottling.