2014 Chardonnay, Carneros
92 Points James Suckling
11 months in barrell
The 2014 Chardonnay opens in the glass with a beautiful hint of bright fresh squeezed lemon. The lemon translates into sweeter notes of rich lemon bars and lemon custard. The baking spices from the bit of Russian oak in this wine peeks through, particularly with notes of cinnamon graham cracker. The mouthfeel of the Chardonnay is nothing short of luscious. The beautiful viscosity coats the tongue and inside of your cheeks with awesome flavors of salted caramel and butterscotch from the American oak. Hints of lemon meringue round out the long finish, which ends incredibly balanced and clean.
This wine comes from 21 acres of the historic Stanly Ranch vineyard in the Los Carneros appellation in the southwest corner of the Napa Valley; clones 4 and 76. This vineyard and region are perfect for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. It is in the southern part of the Valley and soaks up all the sun and heat during the day. Cool air and the marine layer from the San Francisco Bay comes in the afternoon and early evening, which cools the grapes down and helps them retain acidity
The wine is whole cluster pressed and immediately put down to barrel. Then it is cold barrel fermented at 46-48°F to help capture and enhance the tropical fruit aromas. The wine is fermented in new American and Russian oak for 11 months and goes through 100% malolactic fermentation, giving this wine its creamy flavor and texture. The small amount of Russian oak goes a long way in lengthening the finish. The wine has an incredible balance of ripeness, fruit, beautiful oak notes and a long finish.