This elegant, lush Chardonnay reveals layered aromas and flavors of wildflower honey, juicy apple, orange marmalade, and brioche toast. Full-bodied with a luscious, creamy mouthfeel, this wine is balanced with a subtle note of crisp acidity on the finish.
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.
This rich Chardonnay comes from our Certified Sustainable Behler Estate Vineyard, named for the Behler family, who first cultivated the land in the 1900s. Our founder Joe Martin purchased this 100-acre Sonoma Valley vineyard in 1971 and planted it with Chardonnay and Merlot. Ideally suited to the warm days and cool nights here, the Chardonnay develops full, round flavors and crisp acidity.
Winemaker Katie Madigan crafts this wine in a richer, more opulent style than our other premium Chardonnays. The fruit is picked at daybreak 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 maintained at 55°F to ensure a slow fermentation. For this Extended Age wine, select barrels were set aside, chosen for their taste profile and acidity level, and given an extra 12 months of aging and battonage (stirring) to impart a rounder, more complex mouthfeel.