As the undisputed Queen of White Wine, Chardonnay is grown all over our bountiful state. But even wineries in other appellations will admit: Monterey County is Chardonnay country. The cool coastal climate, with morning fogs that often linger until mid-day, allows the intricate fruit flavors to develop while preserving crucial acidity. These just-right conditions place Monterey County on par with the best growing regions of the world. Each vintage, we strive to craft a Chardonnay that strikes a perfect balance between rich and refreshing. Through the judicious use of oak, we seek to complement, not detract from, the gorgeous tropical fruit flavors that are the hallmark of Monterey Chards. Our 2012 vintage has aromas of green apple and pear that lead into a lively blend of tropical fruit and citrus flavors with hints of vanilla on the lingering finish.
Gold Medal, 90 pts - 2014 San Diego International Wine Competition
The grapes for our 2012 vintage were sourced just about equally from four of our estate vineyards. The northernmost vineyard, Riverview, is located near Soledad and delivers concentrated flavors and a distinct minerality. Viento and Mesa del Rio Vineyards are in the Greenfield area and are planted to Dijon clones 76 and 96. This fruit brings vibrancy, excellent structure and acidity. Our Scheid – Arroyo Seco Vineyard delivers with bright tropical fruit flavors. This quadruplet of vineyards creates a synergy where the whole is definitely greater than the sum of the parts. The 2012 growing season was a grape grower’s dream. Cold winter temps to put the vines into dormancy, warm breezy spring temps to allow the vines to gently wake-up and acclimate, and a moderate summer with no heat waves that ripened the grapes evenly.
The grapes were hand-picked and gently whole-cluster pressed. The juice was chilled and lightly settled before 63% was transferred to stainless steel tanks and slowly fermented at a cool temperature to enhance the varietal aromatics. The balance was fermented in predominately small French oak barrels. Aging of the barrel portion continued sur lie (on the lees) for eight months with periodic stirring to incorporate the lees back into the wine. Lees are the remnants of yeast cells that settle to the bottom of the container after fermentation is complete. Allowing the wine to rest in contact with them adds a richer texture, complexity and fuller mid-palate to the wine. The barrel portion was then blended with the stainless steel selection, resulting in a wine that delivers the essence of Chardonnay: freshness, vibrancy, richness and complexity.