Vineyard and Region Information: We first made Chardonnay from the Bald Mountain Vineyard in 2013. In 2015, we were again given the opportunity to purchase fruit from this exceptional vineyard. This vineyard is in the tiny Ben Lomond Mountain AVA, an appellation within the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA that is only a few miles from the Pacific ocean at over 1000 ft. The vines were planted in 1990 in a rare white sandy soil called 'Zayante' (only found in one area of the Santa Cruz Mountains). Needless to say, this is a Chardonnay like no other.
Vintage Notes: The exceptional 2015 vintage got off to an early start and presented near perfect growing conditions with the exception of wet cold weather during set which dramatically reduced yields. The low yields and great weather produced wines with wonderful concentration and finesse, and this wine is no exception.
Wine Notes: We harvested just under 1-ton of Chardonnay grapes on September 3, and whole cluster pressed them immediately to a tank to cold settle for a few days. The juice was then racked to seven used French Oak barrels for a long, cold natural primary and secondary fermentation. We then bottled the wine in late January 2017. Secondary fermentation took a long time with this Chardonnay and didn't complete till late Summer. On top of that, it was very tight and not very expressive which left us wondering what to think about this vineyard. Just like the best examples of Pinot Noir and Syrah, Chardonnay truly expresses where it comes from. Because the Zayante soil is so unique we had never had a Chardonnay quite like this. After completing secondary fermentation, the wine started to blossom and begin to express this unique terroir. This is a dense and expressive Chardonnay with impressive texture and depth, and yet has the minerality and acidity one expects from a 'restrained' Chardonnay. Complex notes of vanilla bean, Meyer lemon (white part of peel), white flowers, and wet stone. Dense and vibrant on palate with mouthwatering acidity and an extended mid-palate finish. This is a white that pairs great with a grilled wild steelhead fillet, duck any way, hard cheeses, and charcuterie. This terrific mountain site with Zayante sand near the ocean is expressed clearly through the lens of our minimal winemaking and used oak aging.