Winemaker’s Tasting Notes
classic pale straw in color, with enticing aromas of clover honey and ripe pineapple. On the palate, it offers appealing tropical fruit, citrus, and spiced baked apple flavors. dry and mouthfilling, this Chardonnay possesses sufficient structure to age for a few years, but is delicious now.
The grapes for this Chardonnay came exclusively from our Wildcat Mountain Vineyard, owned by Steve MacRostie and his partners Nancy and Tony Lilly. Here the vines dig into the sparse volcanic soil and stand firm against the strong winds that race in off of the Pacific Ocean most afternoons. This fog-shrouded mountaintop vineyard is a classic Sonoma Coast site, cool and challenging, and produces wines of great distinction. The growing season was nicely extended, with the weather remaining quite cool all the way through a rather late, almost leisurely harvest. Blending proved to be a complex affair, with four of the Chardonnay blocks proving worthy of inclusion in the blend: the clone 15, the Dijon 95, the Robert Young 17, and the Wente. Yields were customarily low, a little over two tons per acre, resulting in fruit of intense flavor. The grapes were harvested by hand from October 1 to October 12, 2005.
The grapes went direct to press as whole clusters. The resulting juice was cold settled, racked off its press lees, and moved directly to barrel for a cool fermentation. It was aged in these same French oak barrels, 22% of which were new, for 11 months. The fermentation lees were stirred several times once malolactic conversion was complete, and then the wine was left to slumber. After enough time to allow the flavors to develop, the best barrels from each lot were selected to form the Wildcat Mountain Vineyard blend. The wine was bottled on August 18, 2006.