2018 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 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. One-hundred percent of the juice was fermented in small French oak barrels, followed by seven months aging sur lies. The wine was stirred twice-monthly to suspend the yeast lees and release essential oils that add richness and viscosity. The wine went through 100% malolactic fermentation.
2018 brought a long, steady and near-ideal growing season to Napa Valley with moderate weather in spring and summer and no significant heat spikes. Harvest was later than in recent years, with continued mild weather through the fall that allowed grapes to gradually ripen and develop both sweetness and acidity. Overall it was an uneventful and fine growing season yielding wines of intensity, concentration and balance.
Our 2018 Lavender Hill Chardonnay combines lovely notes of Granny Smith apple, Meyer lemon and Bosc pear with French oak notes of spicy vanilla, graham cracker and hazelnut. The wine’s bright acidity is counterbalanced by its creamy, round texture and rich, mouth-coating finish. This is a classic Carneros Chardonnay, typical of this cool growing region and possessing equal parts ripe fruit, smooth oak, creamy richness and vibrant acidity.
Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
Appellation: Napa Valley
Aging: 100% French oak barrels