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“Sleek and pure-tasting, with citrus zest notes flanking the vibrant white fruit and spice flavors. Minerally midpalate, with a long finish that shows kumquat and lemongrass accents. Drink now through 2025. 502 cases made.” - Kim Marcus, July 31, 2021
“There’s a brisk, cool feel to this wine’s lemon and peach skin flavors, lasting with some sandy abrasion of oak tannins. The oak influence is strong, the fruit substantial enough to support it. A steaky chardonnay.” - Josh Greene, October 2021
Lovely and vibrant with delicate aromatics and flavors exhibiting truly exceptional cool-region Napa Valley Chardonnay, this 2019 shows subtle notes of fresh Honeycrisp apple, white floral blossom, and melon, supported by hints of toasted almond and white peach tarte Tatin. Layered flavors are mouthwatering, rich, and complex with more citrus and crema de limón notes on the palate, alongside zesty ginger spice and white pepper, leading to a luscious finish. Well-integrated oak enhances the nuanced spice and delicate mouthfeel without overpowering the wine’s notable racing acidity.
The 2019 harvest started one to two weeks later than previous years, mostly due to February rains, but because the vines were in their winter dormancy, it did not affect the 2019 crop. Spring continued to be wet with some rain during flowering, followed by cool temperatures that allowed the grapes to mature gradually. The grapes ripened nicely with beautiful maturity and winemakers were pleased with the full flavors, vibrant acidity and superb balance of the 2019 fruit. Wildfires in October did not impact this year’s harvest as the vast majority of the grapes were already brought in, resulting in a crop size pretty much on par with previous years. The resulting 2019 wines are of very high quality with concentrated flavors and excellent acidity, especially for varieties like Chardonnay.
The 2019 Barrel Selection Chardonnay was crafted with grapes grown in the Carneros appellation in southern Napa Valley, located along the seaside on the north side of the San Pablo Bay. Here maritime fogs roll across, blown in by cooling Pacific winds and then burned away again by the generous California sun, cooling these vineyards throughout the growing season, allowing for ideal preservation of acidity. Known for producing great wines, this undulating, gravelly bayside terrain continues to inspire exploration and discovery, and consistently produces Chardonnay ideal for our style of winemaking with crisp fruit flavors and bright acidity..
The Barrel Selection Chardonnay is a small bottling of the most expressive barrel lots in a given vintage. A little more than fifty percent of the wine was fermented and aged in new French oak barrels and the remaining in neutral French oak. This specific barrel treatment as well as selected low impact coopers helps preserve the purity and freshness of the fruit while adding subtle notes of oak complexity. The 2019 vintage, as usual, did not undergo malolactic fermentation to further maintain the fruit’s natural acidity and aromatic freshness. The wine was bottled after just seven months of maturation with a weekly batonnage (lees stirring), putting the yeast lees in suspension in order to release subtle aromatics, increasing the complexity and preventing reduction.
For Christophe Paubert, Winemaker and General Manager at Stags’ Leap Winery, the identity of a wine is found through the terroir. Christophe’s career has spanned the industry from sales to winemaking, and his impressive background includes positions at Chateau d’Yquem and Gruaud-Larose as well as projects in Chile, Spain and Washington State. But it was the terroir of Stags’ Leap that drew him to California.
|Oak Treatment||Fermented and aged in 100% French oak barrels (55% new & 45% used) for 7 months|