2019 Lavender Hill Chardonnay
Our Lavender Hill Vineyard is one of the coolest sites in Napa Valley, seven acres in southern Carneros that are consistently buffeted by fog and breezes blowing off the 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. Forty percent of the juice was fermented in concrete vessels to maintain freshness and acidity, while the remaining sixty percent fermented in small French oak barrels. The entire lot aged sur lies for 18 months in French oak and was stirred twice-monthly to suspend the yeast lees and release essential oils that add richness and viscosity. The wine went through 30% malolactic fermentation.
Heavy rainfall at the beginning of the 2019 growing season replenished reservoirs and gave the soils plenty of moisture. The vintage saw a long, warm summer with few extreme heat events, and the cool evenings and mornings set the stage for vibrant and expressive wines. Relatively mild weather during harvest preserved freshness and finesse in the fruit, while extended hang time teased out great color, structure and soft tannins.
Our 2019 Lavender Hill Chardonnay offers exuberant notes of peach, pear and orange marmalade comingled with flavors of vanilla bean, toasted marshmallow and graham cracker crust. Bright acidity balances the creamy, rich texture, and hints of crème brulee and citrus blossom come through on the long finish. This is a beautifully balanced Carneros Chardonnay that has it all: ripe stone fruit, toasty oak, creamy richness, and vibrant acidity.
Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
Appellation: Napa Valley
Aging: 18 months in 100% French oak barrels