With the 2015 vintage, we continue our tradition of allowing our Chardonnay grapes to become wine as naturally as possible. The grapes were whole-cluster pressed in September 2015, and the juice was put in French oak barrels (primarily previously-used barrels plus a single new barrel). At that point, we stepped back and allowed the Chardonnay juice to become wine. We did not add yeast to the wine, thus it was fermented in barrel by indigenous yeasts, which add complexity. We did not stop the fermentation, or add acid or nutrients or enzymes (all very common practices in winemaking, sad to say). The fermentation occurred over an extended period of time - the yeast were still active through until August 2016. Extended contact with the yeast lees may be sensed in the aroma and the wonderful supple texture of the wine. The wine was not put through traditional cold-stabilization (so be warned: if you get it too cold it may develop a sediment), and is not filtered.
The result of our natural, minimalist winemaking is a symphony of intense flavors and mouthfeel. It begins with meyer lemons, softened around the edges by apricot and chamomile. On the palate, a tension between edgy minerality and butter-rich brioche. The a long, crisp finish. With age, the wine will soften further, but it has structure to allow it to improve for at least five years. This Chardonnay can stand on its own, but it will really shine with foods such as sautéed lingcod, baked halibut, chicken in white wine sauce, or roast turkey breast.