Carneros Reserve 2009
2009 proved to be a mild, relatively cool growing season. Without much frost nor many heat spikes, the lack of rain (2/3 of normal for the third consecutive year) did not present any challenges. Overall, the vintage provided extended hang time for the grapes without excessive ripeness, leading to forward, bright fruit with mature flavors and tannins.
The Chardonnay grapes for this wine were grown in the Carneros region, where soils are dense, shallow, of low to moderate fertility, and high in clay content. While the soils lead to low yields, the region’s maritime climate allows a longer growing season; the end result is balanced color, flavor and acidity in the harvested grapes. This Chardonnay is produced from the Rodgers Creek Vineyard in northwestern Carneros, where the expression of the fruit tends to be more exotic and concentrated.
After whole-cluster pressing, the Chardonnay juice was barrel-fermented in French oak barrels and aged sur lie for 22 months. During this period, the barrels were routinely stirred to increase yeast contact and add richness; the wine did not undergo the secondary malo-lactic fermentation. One– and two-year-old French oak barrels were used. Prior to bottling, the wine received minimal filtration and fining to preserve the fresh fruit flavors.
This Chardonnay features bright, concentrated citrus, pear, cantaloupe and pineapple fruit, with a good balance of French oak to add richness to the palate. The wine lingers on the palate, and has the structure and acidity to provide for good longevity.
• Varietal Composition: 100% Chardonnay
• Appellation: Carneros
• Alcohol: 14.1%
• TA: 0.60 g/100ml
• pH: 3.59
• Oak Aging: 22 months
• Oak Cooperage: French oak
• Bottling Date: November 9, 2011
• Production: 288 cases