91 Points | Wine Advocate | April 2019
This wine stands out for its refreshing qualities that are beautifully balanced with a good body and smooth texture. Bright, fresh aromatics of crisp Granny Smith apple and a touch of white peach precede more juicy apple on the palate along with notes of fresh, sliced pineapple and a hint of lemongrass. The finish reveals the natural acidity that comes from grapes grown in this cool area.
The 2017 growing season started out wet with record-breaking rainfall. The mild spring led to a timely bud break and good fruit set, followed by ideal conditions of cool mornings and warm, sunny days throughout the summer months. A few days of intense heat at the beginning of September sped up ripening throughout the region. Well-timed picks meant the majority of the fruit was in by the first week of October. Beautiful color, well-defined aromatics, and outstanding flavor define this vintage.
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 in the early morning hours, 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.