Speaking to the terroir of Napa Valley’s Los Carneros region, this 2015 Chardonnay opens with lush White Lady peach, Jonathan apple and citrus zest aromas with tones of warm honeycomb and oak. The wine expands across the palate in rich, silky layers of spiced baked apples and pear, with a hint of minerality appearing mid-palate. The flavors, perfecting an exquisite balance of lemony acidity and creamy complexity, then culminate in a lingering finish graced by hazelnut and oak spice from barrel fermentation and aging.
This wine dramatically shows its sense of place, which are the rolling, windswept hills of the Los Carneros American Viticultural Area (AVA). We selected grapes from our Winery Lake estate vineyards, with the balance coming from our nearby, long-term growers. This region’s cool marine winds develop vibrant fruit flavors and acidity in Chardonnay grapes, while the distinct soils and clones of each vineyard contribute to this wine’s diversity of flavors. We hand harvested the grapes into small bins and then immediately pressed them as whole clusters to capture their vibrant flavors.
We barrel fermented the juice with yeast selected from Burgundy, France, to give the wine complex vineyard expression. The wine completed 75 percent malolactic fermentation, which balanced the crisp acidity with round, creamy mouthfeel. During seven months of barrel aging, the yeast lees were stirred every two weeks to integrate flavors and to add weight to the palate. For an array of oak spices, we chose barrels from more than 20 of the finest coopers, primarily French.