As I said last year, when I began to experiment with our Alexander Valley Chardonnay in 1997, I was accustomed to working with Russian River Valley fruit. So, I was not prepared for how much I would like this wine. Barrel fermented with special, temperamental yeast, full malolactic fermentation, and bottled without fining, cold stabilization, or filtration, this 350-case experiment exhibits great richness and complexity without going over the top. This second vintage is a little more fine-tuned than its predecessor. Pressing was stopped at moderate juice yields based on taste and, yes, a little juice chemistry. Due to the 1997’s graceful bottle development, it looks like this vineyards wine will easily handle at least moderate cellaring.