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Vintage 2015
Wine Type White
Varietal Chardonnay
Region Carneros
Winemaker Jeffrey Stambor

Creamy, spicy and complex, this Chardonnay is best savored slowly as you relax with friends. Together, our Chardonnay Ranch No. 8 and Chardonnay Ranch No. 9 show how different winemaking techniques influence the style and flavor profiles of Chardonnay. Both are made from grapes grown in our stellar Los Carneros vineyards. While Winemaker Domenica Totty makes Ranch No. 9 in a fresh, fruit-driven style, she ferments all the Ranch No. 8 fruit in small barrels to craft a more voluptuous, oak-influenced Chardonnay. Then she uses malolactic fermentation and sur lie aging to add even more richness. You’ll find that this Chardonnay’s opulent aromas and silky-textured flavors, reminiscent of baked apple, tropical fruit and sweet spices, culminate in a crème brûlée finish. Sip this wine by itself or pair with a baguette, triple cream Brie and crisp apples. It’s also a perfect match for lobster dipped in clarified butter.

Vineyard Note

We harvest the grapes from BV Ranch No. 8, which is located in the Los Carneros American Viticultural Area (AVA) at the southern tip of Napa Valley. Here, cold marine winds and fog temper the summer sun and foster very expressive Chardonnay grapes with ideal acid levels. We include vines grafted to the Robert Young clone for the baking spice character that they add to the blend, while the Dijon clones contribute notes of stone fruits like apricot and peach. With lots of bright, crisp malic (apple-like) acidity in these cool-climate grapes, we can inoculate more of the wine for malolactic fermentation, thus making a rich, creamy Chardonnay that is still beautifully balanced.

Winemaker's Note

We hand harvest the ripe clusters and immediately bring them to our winery for gentle pressing. Domenica knows that the intensely flavored fruit of Ranch No. 8 balances well with more intense oak complexity, so she barrel ferments the juice in 50 percent new barrels. Bâtonnage during sur lie aging (stirring the yeast lees) enhances the texture, while malolactic fermentation changes the crisp “apple” acid into softer “milk” acid. More than a year of barrel aging develops and marries the myriad of flavors.