Vintage 2017
Wine Type White
Varietal Chardonnay
Region Napa Valley
Winemaker Christophe Paubert

The Barrel Selection Chardonnay is a small bottling of the most expressive barrel lots in a given vintage. The 2017 Barrel Selection Chardonnay is an elegant homage to the beautiful aromatics and flavor characteristics Chardonnay exhibits when the fruit is allowed to express itself.

92 Points - Wine Advocate

“Aged in 67% new oak for 9 months, the 2017 Chardonnay Barrel Selection has a toasty nose over a core of lemon meringue pie, white peaches and clotted cream with hints of fresh ginger and marzipan. Medium-bodied, the palate features plenty of zip with a refreshing line and long savory finish. 486 cases produced to be released in March 2019.” - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, October 29, 2018

Tasting Notes

An elegant representation of the beautiful aromatics and flavor characteristics Chardonnay exhibits when the fruit is allowed to express itself from a cooler region within Napa Valley.  The 2017 Barrel Selection Chardonnay shows lifted notes of candied lemon peel, honeysuckle, lightly toasted almond, marzipan and peach Tarte Tatin, which all come together in layers of mouthwatering complexity and depth.  On the palate, you’ll find more citrus, lemon meringue, and hints of ginger spice, which all unfold into a luxurious, silky, vibrant and zingy mouthwatering finish.  Exceptionally well-integrated oak enhances the nuanced spice complexity and elegant mouthfeel without overpowering the wine’s notable acidity.  This Chardonnay invites you to sip, savor and repeat!

Vineyard Notes

The 2017 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. 

Vintage Notes

Overall, 2017 proved to be a very memorable vintage with slightly smaller yields but exceptional quality.  After much needed rainfall in the winter months ended the drought, a brief period of warmer than usual temperatures occurred during Labor Day weekend which accelerated the harvest in some areas but was perfect for ripening the fruit in the Napa Valley.  Temperatures subsided just when we needed, and the fruit was allowed to mature and ripen perfectly on the vines before harvest officially began in mid-August.  2017 will be remembered as an intense and unpredictable harvest but one of tremendous quality, with wines showing great flavor intensity, perfect ripening and maturity, lovely balance and complexity, especially for varieties like Chardonnay.

Winemaking Notes

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 in neutral French oak.  This specific barrel treatment helps preserve the purity and freshness of the fruit while adding subtle notes of oak complexity.  The 2017 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 complexity and prevent reduction.

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