This wine is a barrel selection from three historic Chardonnay vineyards.
The Beresini Vineyard’s thirty year-old, dry-farmed heritage vines contribute depth and texture, Hyde Vineyard’s wind-cooled topography gives minerality and precision and Durell vineyard adds richness and opulence. The sum of this winemaker’s selection is greater than its parts.
The fruit from each of the vineyards were picked separately at their individual optimum ripeness levels and pressed directly to barrel for fermentation relying on the natural yeasts from the vineyard. The small French oak cooperage is a mix of Damy for its contribution of “walking into a Parisian bakery” aromas, Saury for its gentle spice and a little Francois Frere. Malolactics in 2018 took 6-9 months contributing nuanced complexity and textural depth. For this wine we selected the most citrus, floral, crisp, mineral barrels and bottled them in early August after 11 months maturation.
A culmination of three wonderful Chardonnay vineyards, the interplay of each vineyard has given us a beautifully svelte, balanced and harmonious wine. Elegant fruit flavors of ripe citrus, white flower and minerals are layered with brioche, nutmeg and fresh cream complexities. The palate is exciting, with a juxtaposition of dense concentration and svelte creamy texture, with balancing freshness, crispness and structural tension. Delicious right out of the gate, yet with the substance to develop beautifully over the next 5-10 years.
It will be one of those vintages that will be discussed for decades to come. The wines we made are beautiful, our highest-scoring Chardonnays to-date as well as Cabernets and Proprietary Reds that are reflective of great vintages, with early barrel scores into potential 100-point range. Our reds have excellent extract; layered, downright sexy wines that have the structure to live a long time. I taste the wines and marvel. It was a very wet spring, over 30 inches of rain in January and February alone. Spring bloom and set went smoothly, and we rolled into the summer with heat spikes in July, late August, and early September. By early October all the Chardonnays were in and the Cabernets were reaching optimum maturity. We dropped a lot of fruit in 2017, a cluster per shoot in To Kalon, and in part because of this, we had all our fruit in by mid-October. Then came the fire, which had no influence on our wines, but changed all our lives. The wines themselves are rays of sunlight when I reflect on 2017.