After working with this block of Chardonnay for 12 years, I am impressed with this wines capacity to age and develop interest with time. Lately we have raided some 8-year old bottles from library to serve at various winemaker dinners and tastings, much to the happy astonishment of those in attendance. California Chardonnay is not “supposed” to age and develop like this, especially Alexander Valley fruit. One local restaurant has raided our entire remaining stash of 375’s from 2001 and 2002 and another has asked for all the recently “rediscovered” 375’s of our 1999 vintage. The winemaking is still pretty much the same these days except that we now employ slightly less new oak and the wine is in barrel for 16 to 18 months rather than 12. From this we expect to gain more complexity in the short-term without sacrificing future development and longevity.
The 2008 vintage gave us a wine with incredible acidity and remarkable focus. There is lime-zest, freshly cut pear, slight hints of crème-brulée which make you half wonder which kind of dessert is nearby…until you get the wine in your mouth. Then you’re back to the shellfish course. As with the 2007, the wine took an exceptionally long time to complete malolactic fermentation (usually a big plus with regard to integration and harmony) and was bottled during its second spring. I think this has an amazing future ahead of it. It is definitely not a vintage to miss.