92 Points - Wine Advocate
"The 2016 Chardonnay Barrel Selection is all barrel-fermented with 50% new oak and no malolactic fermentation. It has a tropical nose of fresh pineapple and green mango with melon, brioche and toasted almonds in the background plus a hint of ginger. Medium-bodied, the palate has a beautiful satiny texture and seamless acidity lifting the intense tropical flavors, finishing with a citrusy lift. 500 cases were made." - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, October 2017
The 2016 Barrel Selection Chardonnay is an elegant homage to the beautiful aromatics and flavor characteristics Chardonnay exhibits when the fruit is allowed to express itself. Delicate notes of Key lime, Asian pear spice, freshly cut straw, lightly toasted almond and brioche all come together in layers of mouthwatering complexity and depth. On the palate you’ll find more citrus, lemon oil, wet slate and hints of nutmeg which all envelop into a luxurious, succulent and vibrant lengthy finish. The oak is exceptionally well-integrated and enhances the nuanced spice complexity and elegant mouthfeel without overpowering the wine’s notable acidity. This Chardonnay invites you to dive into the glass to discover more and more – and although quite complex, is incredibly easy and enjoyable to drink.
The 2016 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 extended drought was causing concern as the 2016 growing season began, but some winter rain hinted at the relief to come. After a relatively dry January we enjoyed significant rainfall with mild temperatures in February. Bud break was early, but was slowed by heavy April showers. While still early by historical standards, picking began a week later than 2015, and continued at a leisurely pace, allowing the grapes to reach full flavor maturity. A traditionally sized harvest followed the lighter 2015, with the extended season balancing the acidity in each varietal and added complexity to the layers of flavors. This resulted 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. 50% of the wine was fermented and aged in new French oak barrels and the remaining 50% in seasoned French oak. This specific barrel treatment helps preserve the essential purity of the fruit while adding subtle notes of oak complexity. The 2016 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
Cases Produced: 430