90 points, Wine Spectator
This Chardonnay is completely grown on our Sarah's Vineyard blocks. Our location in the cool climate Mt. Madonna disctrict of the southern Santa Cruz Mountains provides superioe growing conditions for the noble Chardonnay grape.
11 months French Oak, mostly neutral, 535 cases
In 2017, the growing season was a fairly 'normal' one, with moderate winter rains followed by a gentle spring and mild summer with few heat events. Yields for 2017 were very typical, with quality uniformly high. The Chardonnay fruit off our own blocks was picked the second week of September, showing great intensity and full phenolic ripeness.
Citrus, melon, pear, and wild flowers - our 2017 Santa Clara Vallet Chardonnay is a delicious testament to this historic vineyard. On the nose and palate, melon, pear, honeysuckle, and Meyer lemon are framed by touches of walnut, vanilla and spice. Bright food pairing acidity and a light touch of oak complete the picture for our estate grown Chardonnay.
After hand sorting, the free run and light press juice began primary fermentation, using yeast D254, in mostly neutral French oak barrels. Malolactic fermentation was induced. The wine was aged for eleven months in small French oak cooperage. The lees were "stirred" in each barrel twice monthly.
Harvest Date: 2nd week of September
Cooperage: French Oak, mostly neutral, 11 months
Bottling Date: August 2017