2011 Vieilles Vignes Chardonnay
The grapes sourced for this native yeast fermented Chardonnay were hand picked and carefully selected from our original vineyard planted in 1980. These old vines yielded an average of 1.8 tons per acre. This Chardonnay was grown exclusively on our estate vineyard located on Silverado Trail. The shallow, rocky hillside vineyard planted in 1980 stressed the vine sufficiently during the growing season to ensure intense varietal character. We employed a variety of techniques in managing each vineyard’s micro-climate including trellising, leaf removal and crop reduction.
The nose of this golden hued Chardonnay opens with floral aromas. On the palate, cinnamon and toasted break complement the balanced acidity and long, delicate finish.
Careful pressing of whole clusters minimized skin contact. This gentle process helps the wine achieve balance as well as develop a silky mouthfeel and enhances the aging potential. Using native yeasts, the wine fermented in French oak barrels with 50% malolactic fermentation to preserve the natural acidity. Tonnelleries: Francois Freres and Damy. Oak types: Allier, and Troncais. The wine spent 10 months on the lees in French oak (40% new) prior to bottling.
What began with a wet winter and spring continued with rainfall into mid-June. Few high heat events occurred at any point, but growers managed more open vine canopies to ensure sunlight, warmth and good air circulation around the grape clusters. Dry, sunny weather in the Fall provided ideal ripening and picking conditions on the Silverado Bench. Because of the late, great weather, wines of this harvest will see excellent color and elegant flavors, making this vintage quite memorable.