2016 Merryvale Chardonnay Carneros-Napa Valley
The fruit for this Chardonnay was grown primarily on our Stanly Ranch Estate Vineyard in Carneros with some select lots from the Hyde and Poe Vineyards blended in. These vineyards’ proximity to the San Pablo Bay keeps them at a cool temperature and brings cool climate characteristics to the wine, most notably a crisp freshness. Each vineyard was picked and pressed separately. After pressing, the juices were allowed to settle naturally overnight and were then put into French oak barrels. Fermentation started naturally and lasted for six months. Native malolactic fermentation occurred during this time as well. The wine spent 12 months in 30% new French oak barrels. One month prior to bottling, each lot of wine was racked and then blended to prepare for bottling.
The goal for this wine is finesse and complexity which is enhanced by using long, slow, native fermentations. From the Napa side of Carneros, this Chardonnay is a beautiful golden color. The nose opens up with some roasted almonds and then evolves to floral and fruit notes including bergamot, pineapple, ripe peaches and citrus. In the mouth, the entry is very round and fresh with plenty of fruit flavors. The acidity is very soft, and guided by the minerality, balance and a lingering finish.