2015 Lavender Hill Vineyard Chardonnay
Our Lavender Hill Vineyard is one of the coolest sites in Napa Valley, seven acres in southern Carneros that are constantly buffeted by fog and breezes blowing off adjacent San Pablo Bay. The fruit for this wine comes from a hilly 3 ½ acre knoll, with well-spaced vines that produced extremely low yields of aromatic and concentrated fruit.
After hand sorting in the vineyard and again at the winery, the grapes for our Lavender Hill Chardonnay were whole cluster pressed to immediately separate the juice from the skins. A portion (70%) of the juice was fermented in small French oak barrels, a technique that allows the oak to fully integrate with the wine at an early stage. The remaining 30% was fermented and aged in concrete vessels. Concrete leaves no discernible flavor behind, but its surface holds microscopic pockets of oxygen which help preserve aromatics and broaden the mouthfeel. Over its eight month aging period the wine was stirred every two weeks to suspend the lees and release essential oils that add richness and viscosity. We also allowed the wine to undergo partial malolactic fermentation, balancing its bright fruit character with a rich, supple palate.
The 2015 vintage in Napa Valley will be remembered for high quality but low yields. The growing season began with warm temperatures in late winter and early spring resulting in an early bud break. In May, colder temperatures during bloom caused fruit set to be uneven, yielding a much smaller crop compared to earlier vintages. Winemakers and vineyard managers worked closely together as the season progressed to ensure grapes ripened uniformly. The harvest, which was in full swing by mid-August, was one of the earliest on record in Napa Valley, and most vintners completed picking by mid-October. Although the continuing drought was a concern around California, Napa Valley received 75% of its annual rainfall average in 2015 making it less worrisome for Napa vintners.
Our Lavender Hill Chardonnay shows beautiful ripe, up-front fruit, with layers of honey, vanilla, spice, pear and Granny Smith apple flavors. Its creamy texture brings to mind graham crackers and crème brulee, yet there’s a nice tension between the brightness of the fruit and the rich, toasty, oak- and lees-driven flavors. This is a terrifically-balanced wine with excellent depth of flavor and concentration and a long, lingering finish.
Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
Appellation: Napa Valley
Aging: 70% French oak barrels; 30% concrete vessels
Production: 185 cases
93 points, James Suckling
"Sliced apple and honey character on the nose with hints of cooked lemons. Full body, yet linear and tight with a lovely balance of fruit and butterscotch character. Classic Napa chard here. Drink now."
WineWeirdos Celebrate #ChardonnayDay with 2015 Jon Nathaniel Napa Chardonnay
"...very lush lemon...great acidity...a brilliant food wine..." View Video Tasting Notes.
CA All The Way For #ChardonnayDay and #NationalWineDay!
"Overall this was the most subtle and elegant wine of the evening..." Read more.
What To Drink Now: Wine Day Chardonnay
"The father-son team behind Flora Springs focus on small-production techniques. The Jon Nathaniel Chardonnay is produced using French oak and concrete fermenters that add cream and spice to wet-stone characteristics." Read more.
Cliff's Wine Picks
"The finish has nice length with vanilla and mouth watering lemon zest providing great depth and forcing you to reach for another sip. This is a very food friendly wine that has great balance." Read more.
Celebrate #ChardonnayDay California Style
Rockin Red Blog
"...a wine that smells this inviting better be good, and it is...this wine has an restrained palate with bright fruit flavors and soft oak driven notes with a medium+ acidity that provides an elegant tension on the palate, it is fresh while also being grounded, a beautiful Chardonnay." Read more.
Celebrating Chardonnay Day
The Nittany Epicurean
"This wine would be a good aperitif to celebrate...and would pair nicely with a classic citrus-stuffed roast chicken." Read more.
Named a Top Four Wine Pick for #ChardonnayDay by Cooking Chat
Chardonnay Day 2017
"You guyssssss, It's that time again...National Chardonnay Day!!!! I'm celebrating with two amazing wines..." Read more.
Happy Chardonnay Day!!
Julia the Wine Examiner
"Reward your accomplishments with a bottle or two of Jon Nathaniel Lavender Hill Vineyard Chardonnay from vines that produce low yields of concentrated fruit. This varietal seduces with layers of honey, vanilla, spice and pear. Wait a moment for Act II as toasty oak, Granny Smith apple and toasty oak flavors emerge." Read more.