91 Points - Wine Advocate
“The 2015 Chardonnay Barrel Selection is a selection of the best barrels, most of them new. As a result, this wine has slightly more minerality, more substantial impact on the palate, medium to full body, some notes of citrus blossom, pear and white peach, and a touch of smoke. Drink it over the next 4-5 years.” - Robert Parker, December 2016
Crisp, elegant and beautifully aromatic, the 2015 Barrel Selection Chardonnay
offers a lovely minerality, with delicate floral honeysuckle and lime zest notes on
the nose, opening the way for tastes of lemon peel, white peach, nectarine and an
almond, hazelnut finish. The oak is exceptionally well-integrated and enhances
the depth, spice complexity and elegant mouthfeel without overpowering the
wine’s notable acidity.
The 2015 Barrel Selection Chardonnay was crafted with grapes grown in the Carneros appellation in southern Napa Valley. The majority of the Chardonnay is sourced from Poseidon Vineyard located along the seaside of Carneros on the north side of the San Pablo Bay, while a smaller percentage of fruit is sourced from Stanly Ranch, also a relatively cool vineyard located just a half-mile north of the 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.
After three years of plentiful harvests, the 2015 vintage resulted in a less abundant
crop, but the quality remained exceptional. The mild, dry spring conditions
promoted an early bud-break and minimal heat during summer allowed the fruit
to ripen at a steady pace through picking, which began a few days earlier than
2014. The drier-than-normal conditions contributed to the smaller berry size
and low yields, resulting in wines with outstanding concentration and flavor.
The Barrel Selection Chardonnay is a small bottling of the most expressive barrel lots in a given vintage. 53% of the wine was fermented and aged in low impact new French oak barrels and the remaining 47% in seasoned French oak. This specific barrel treatment helps preserve the essential purity of the fruit while adding subtle notes of oak complexity. The 2015 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 nine months of maturation with a weekly batonnage (lees stirring), putting the yeast lees in suspension in order to release subtle aromatics, increase the mouthfeel and prevent reduction.
Varietal Composition: 100% Chardonnay