2013 Chardonnay, Zabala Vineyard
Located adjacent to the seasonal Arroyo Seco creek and within the dried riverbed corridor, this extreme site rests in the northern portion of the Arroyo Seco AVA. Howling winds and fog temper the vineyard throughout flower, set and the ripening season. With such dramatic climatic conditions, in concert with rocky and meager topsoil, the vines are innately low yielding. Ultimately such natural limitations on vigor help produce an environment ideal for the cultivation of distinct chardonnay.
Picking clone 4 chardonnay by hand, the fruit was whole-cluster pressed and racked to French oak barrels (20% new). In barrel, the wine completed both primary and secondary fermentation and was aged for nearly one year. The resulting wine is rich, displaying a classic aroma profile. The stony ground of the vineyard is highlighted as minerality is a key focal point. Beyond granite and flint aromas, the wine’s bouquet features classic green apple and Bartlett pear, orange blossom with a touch of vanilla bean and cream. The palate is balanced as rich and round textures are met with abundant bright, crisp acidity.
90 points, Gold Medal - Tastings.com: "Medium golden straw color. Buttery, oaky aromas of oak, asian pear, butter, and brioche with a round, shy, dry light-to-medium body and a warming, medium-length butter, grilled pineapple, and brioche finish with heavy oak. An unadulterated Chardonnay with tons of oak influence and lengthy grilled pineapple notes." (7/19/17)
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