2021 Reserve Chardonnay
The 2021 Reserve Chardonnay shows both its cool climate pedigree and the advantage that great sites have on Chardonnay character. The growing season was a bit weak due to the second year of drought, so budbreak was uneven and so was bloom. The weather itself was reasonable, with some fog and windy afternoons. As the temperatures and the winds picked up in August, flavors began to ripen and the acids began to fall, but sugars stalled out. Watson came in on September 25 (25 Brix), NGA on October 4 (23.7 Brix) and Svien/Stewart Ranch on October 2 (23.7 Brix). The Watson and NGA lots were barrel fermented with Montrachet and Svien/Stewart Ranch fermented with CY3079 yeast and then stayed in French oak barrels 9 months. The Chardonnay was inoculated for malo-lactic fermentation with MCW in mid-December and the barrels were stirred every 2 weeks for 3 months to increase depth and texture. The wine was racked to a stainless-steel tank for 4 weeks for a reductive rest before bottling. Though we used a lot of new oak barrels on this lot, 60% of them were Billon Acacia light toast, and we have found they add depth and texture without the overt oaky notes of toasty French oak. The 2021 Reserve Chardonnay has lovely aromas of honeyed fruit with pears, melon, and ripe golden delicious apples. The palate is ripe and tangy, with rich citrussy flaky pastry flavors, and a long mouth covering stride.
Vintage: 2021 | Variety: Chardonnay | Appellation: Napa Valley | Alcohol %: 13.9