The 2011 growing season proved to be a challenge in Napa Valley. A wet winter and spring extended with rainfall into mid-June, delaying bloom and set. A long, cool growing season followed, which forced growers to open canopies to ensure sunlight and warmth. Harvest was further hampered by autumn rain storms, which encouraged an earlier-than-normal harvest. Overall, quality of fruit is high, and lower alcohols are expected for the vintage.
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 two vineyards: the Vallejo Vineyard in northwestern Carneros and the Truchard Vineyard in northeastern Carneros.
After whole-cluster pressing, the Chardonnay juice was barrel-fermented in French oak barrels and aged sur lie for 8 months. During this period, the barrels were routinely stirred to increase yeast contact and add richness; 30% of the wine underwent 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, green apple and nectarine fruit, with just a touch of oak to add richness to the palate. The wine lingers on the palate, and has the structure and acidity to provide for good longevity.
Press & Acclaim
90 points, Best Buy - 2008 Vintage
"Earthy notes add a savory tone to this citrusy chardonnay. Delicate, orange-scented fruit keeps it light and completely dry. For roast salmon."
- Wine & Spirits, December 2010 Download PDF
87 points - 2007 Vintage
"Distinctive spicy citrus-grapefruit flavors merge with green apple in this crisp, medium-bodied white, gaining complexity on the finish. Drink now through 2012."
- J.L., Wine Spectator, June 30, 2009
89 points - 2007 Vintage
"A very nice Chardonnay for drinking with grilled salmon or chicken. It’s light and delicate, with pleasant flavors of citrus fruits, pears and vanilla and bracing minerality. Really likeable for its balance."
- Wine Enthusiast Magazine, February 2009 Download PDF
Critics Silver - 2007 Vintage
"Little green; soft low intensity fruit. Light finish."
- Gerald D. Boyd, Critics Challenge International Wine Competition 2009
"This wine offers a somewhat opulent apricot– and peach-tinged chardonnay aroma with just the right amount of oak and flavors to match. It’s a big wine that somehow avoids the grotesqueries so common to California wines of this mass. I recommend it, especially to those who want their chardonnays big and bold but not out of kilter, a testament to the Carneros microclimate’s possibilities."
- Jon Christensen, The Columbus Dispatch, November 8, 2005 Download PDF
Highly Recommended - 2007 Vintage
"Medium-light yellow; pleasant, floral, nutty, citrus and green apple aroma with hints of vanilla; medium-full to full body; crisp, lemony, nectarine and green apple flavors; firmly structured. Highly recommended."
- California Grapevine, December 2008 - January 2009 Download PDF
• Varietal Composition: 100% Chardonnay
• Appellation: Carneros
• Alcohol: 13.9%
• TA: 0.69 g/100ml
• pH: 3.63
• Oak Aging: 8 months
• Oak Cooperage: French oak
• Bottling Date: June 22, 2012
• Production: 1392 cases