Helfer Vineyard, 2020

$ 52.00

The Helfer Vineyard is located in the Vine Hill area of the Russian River Valley. The vineyard’s densely planted vines require hand cultivation and yield more concentrated fruit than can be achieved by traditional California vine spacing. We bottle this Chardonnay without fining or filtration to preserve its finer qualities.

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Winemaker's Notes

Our style of Chardonnay is probably best described as middle of the spectrum with surprises. It is barrel fermented in a mixture of old and new French oak using our own indigenous microflora. It is aged on lees in barrel for an extraordinarily long time (23 months) and bottled without fining or filtration. The extended time on yeast lees gives remarkable texture and fullness (surprise #1) which are balanced by the salivary-inducing acidity (surprise #2) necessary for that upward trajectory on the finish.

Green apple and d’anjou pear fruit aromas meld with the petrichor background initially. There’s a tiny hint of vanillin that disappears quickly, replaced by petrichor and pomme fruit again. On the mouth, it is luxurious at first, then like an actor who slipped out of character briefly, it reigns itself back into character with a highly mouth-watering finish that invites another sip [if not repeated too recently]. A brief appearance of starfruit precedes the apple and pear flavors until the umami note rises up to help support the very subtle barrel presence for a long, graceful finish. A decade ago, this vineyard’s 2010 vintage topped a blind tasting among the top names in California Chardonnay by experienced wine professionals. Here is a recap on a colleague’s website. It validates the site and our style, which I have worked hard to refine over the years. Production was only about half the usual amount this year.






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