Wild Oak Vineyard
This Chardonnay is crafted in a Burgundian-style to create a refreshing and flavorful wine with bright acidity and a touch of minerality on the finish. Aromas of d’Anjou pear, apple blossom and lightly-toasted meringue mingle with layered flavors of crisp green apple and Meyer lemon tart.
2015 brought an early and light harvest that began on August 10, the earliest date in St. Francis’ history. The year started out very warm and dry but then cool, damp weather in May hampered fruit set. Though the result was smaller, looser clusters on the vine, the warm and consistent summer that followed produced high-quality fruit with exceptional aromatics and concentrated flavors.
All of the fruit for this lovely wine comes from our Certified Sustainable Wild Oak Vineyard located at the base of majestic Sugarloaf Ridge and Hood Mountain in historic Sonoma Valley. Over the centuries rock and gravel have washed down from the mountain range providing an ideal soil for Chardonnay while the region’s moderate climate prolongs ripening and hang time, promoting natural balance in this wine.
The fruit is picked at night and delivered to the winery while still cold to preserve the wine’s delicate flavors, aromas, and acidity. Grapes are pressed whole cluster, then fermented sur lie in a temperature-controlled room kept at 55 degrees to ensure slow fermentation. The wine undergoes partial malolactic fermentation and is stirred by hand three times per week to increase mid-palate intensity. Winemaker Katie Madigan ages this wine for seven months in French oak barrels, 60% new, with a light, soft toast to create a creamy mouthfeel without heavy oak notes.