The 2019 Monterey growing season had cool and moderate weather return to Monterey County and made the grape harvest more aligned with a typical coastal wine growing timeline. Mild temperatures, overnight fog and afternoon winds provided extra hang-time desired for great phenolic development which this wine region typically enjoys. With no real significant heat spikes, the Chardonnay grapes were allowed to slowly ripen and create intense fruit flavors. This was a harvest of excellent quality.
Our veteran winemaker, James Ewart, oversees the team and the small-lot winery built in the vineyard. We picked our blocks when the fruit was fully ripe, and each was kept separate, and all were 100% barrel fermented. ~45 % new oak was used for primary and secondary fermentation. After nine months of aging the wine was racked and put back into oak barrels (predominantly French oak) where it spent another f ive months before f inal blending. The winemaker yeast selections were QA23, and CY3079. QA23 is known to enhance thiols (guava, passionfruit, and grapefruit), CY3079 is known to contribute characters such as toasted bread, honey, hazelnut, and vanilla when left on lees. After the wines f inished alcoholic fermentation, the wines underwent a malolactic fermentation and were stirred every two weeks which helps soften and round out the wine and provide buttery characters.
This wine was aged for ~fourteen months in predominantly French barrels creating nice weight on the palate. The Damy Vosges long-toast barrels gives the wine nice length with slight toasty notes. The Cadus barrels gives the wine nice vanilla sweetness and depth. About 45% were new oak barrels and the remainder of the wine was barrel fermented in 1+ years seasoned barrels so the fruit aromas were not overwhelmed by new oak.
93 Points Wine Enthusiast – “Excellently presented aromas of butter, nectarine, warm almond, and white flower are delicate but expressive on the nose of this bottling. An immediate acidity races through the palate, lifting the toasty and buttery elements while pairing smartly against the ripe citrus and white flower elements.”