The density and richness of the wines produced from these small clusters is undeniable.
Vineyard: This wine comes from a single three-acre Chardonnay vineyard Larry Hyde introduced to Tor in 2008. It belonged to one of his oldest friends in the Napa Valley, Steve Beresini, and was planted three decades ago with cuttings Larry gave Steve. We call this plant material – Hyde Selection Wente Clone. Larry Hyde claims it is the shyest bearing clone he has propagated. Today it produces a minuscule crop in Steve’s vineyard, usually between one to two tons per acre. The clusters are half the normal size of an average Chardonnay cluster, but the density and richness of the wines produced from these small clusters is undeniable.
Winemaking: Very Burgundian in style. Barrel fermented in small French cooperage, favoring premium three-year dry aged barrels at a medium toast level. The single new French barrel coopers used are Saury and Damy. Fermentations begin with native yeast for primary and secondary, and the wines receive the minimal amount of handling through the aging period. Bottled unfined, unfiltered; we work hard to bring an honest and true expression of the vineyard to you.
Winemaker Tasting Notes: Our 2021 Beresini Vineyard Chardonnay is a true textural experience. On the nose, beautiful notes of jasmine, white peach and chamomile tea abound. The palate is rich and round, with crème brulee, almond, and a long, silky finish. There’s a certain tension to the 2021 Chardonnays that leaves us with the impression that these may be some of the finest we’ve produced.
Vintage: The 2021 growing season began with January rains leading to a gentle, sunny spring. The summer was dry – the air clear and warm. By harvest, you could feel the excitement all over Napa Valley, with the potential of an excellent to possibly great vintage. Being a drought year, the crop was off 20% to 25%, but the forecast was for exceptional, concentrated wines. The clusters were uniformly small, providing high skin to juice ration giving the wines structure wrapped around a core of dense fruit. In the barrel these wines came together slowly, and by bottling, the forecast for exceptional wines was realized.
Our 2021 Chardonnays are some of our best, with infinite texture and flavor, yet their complexities and finesse prove they will evolve for decades – an ideal paradox.