90 Points | Jen Dunnuck | June 2018
Double Gold | SF Chronicle Wine Competition | January 2018
This Chardonnay shows off fresh aromatics of crisp Granny Smith apple and white peach. Along with more apples on the palate, notes of lemon zest and almond macaroon add complexity and balance. Smooth and bright with the natural acidity that comes from grapes grown in this cool area, this refreshing wine finishes with a touch of creaminess.
Harvest in 2016 started in the middle of August during a pattern of warm sunny days cooled by foggy mornings and breezy afternoons for most of the area. The early months of the year were very mild with little rain allowing the vines to progress steadily and uneventfully. Yields throughout the region were slightly below average but moderate weather starting in early summer gave the fruit plenty of time to develop great color and flavor, resulting in beautifully balanced wines.
The cool, foggy climate of the beautiful Russian River Valley is ideal for Chardonnay grapes. Located in the heart of this famed, grape-growing region is the Martinelli Vineyard. The Martinelli family has grown grapes here since the 1880s and their fruit is recognized for its high quality and rich, expressive flavors.
Picked at dawn, these grapes arrived at the winery while still cold and were carefully placed directly into our small bladder press. The free-run juice was collected and a half was sent to a stainless steel rotary tank for cold soaking before a slow, cool fermentation while the remainder was barrel fermented, creating a creamy mouthfeel. To highlight the wine’s clean, crisp texture and bright aromatics, we prevented malolactic fermentation and aged the wine for five months before bottling.
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