2014 Chardonnay, Zabala Vineyard
Located adjacent to the seasonal Arroyo Seco creek, 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.
Sourcing clone 4 chardonnay exclusively, the grapes were picked by hand on October 10th. At the winery, the fruit was whole-cluster pressed and racked to French oak barrels (14% new). In barrel, the wine completed both primary and secondary fermentation. After 6 months of sur-lie aging, with weekly battonage, the lees were racked-off and the wine continued to age for another 5 months.
The resulting wine is balanced with rich and creamy textures as well as classic Arroyo Seco aromas of citrus and tropical fruits. The stony ground of the vineyard is highlighted as minerality is a key focal point. Beyond flint and granite aromas, the wine’s bouquet features notes of Meyer lemon tart, orange cream, honeysuckle with a touch of vanilla bean and hazelnut. Replete with bright acidity the flavors carry through on the palate.
91 points - Wine Enthusiast: "Wet stone and lime blossoms kick off the pretty nose on this bottling, bolstered by nectarine, white peach and a mango tropicality. There are lemon and sea-salt touches once sipped, with baked-apple fruit on a tightly wound palate." - M.K. (9/1/16)
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