This vineyard breaks all the ‘conventional wisdom’ rules about the variety in the Alexander Valley. There’s much more to the story that I’ll share at another time. Lemon curd with a twist of lime zest on the nose. Despite nearly 2 full years in barrel on yeast lees, it is energetic, bright and light on its feet. The acidic core and sense of minerality keep this train on the tracks. The acidity is incisive but not jarring-like trombones vs baritones or French horns in an orchestra. After 1 week open, it is absolutely gorgeous and focused.
Over a decade ago, my friend, Tom Klassen (the father of the Gewürztraminer project above) persuaded me to approach the Chardonnays without inoculation, a recommendation that I am quite grateful for. Indigenous/uninoculated alcoholic and malolactic fermentations take well over 1 year to complete in many cases. This long period of biological activity helps ‘feather in’ the proportion of new French oak and yeast lees which act as the non-fruit balancing notes. It requires essentially double the time and space than the usual method used by most wineries. But again, time is an important ingredient.