2016 Russian River Chardonnay 750ml
Double Gold, SF Chronicle Wine Competition
Number of Cases: 3,064
Vineyards: Our Chardonnay is made from our two mature vineyards in the Russian River Valley. Eighty percent of the 2016 Hanna Chardonnay is made from grapes grown on our Slusser Ranch, and the remaining 20% were grown on our Home Ranch. The Slusser Ranch was planted in 1992 on Cortina gravelly loam. Although we have irrigation, it is seldom needed. The Home Ranch was planted in 1990 on Wright loam, which requires irrigation during heat spells.
Vintage 2016: Following adequate winter rains, the 2016 growing season began early again as the trend toward warmer winters continues. There was almost no frost pressure and the season progressed without significant weather worries. A single heat spike in July was short lived. August in the RRV got drippy, however, and ripening slowed nicely with some associated Bot pressure. This was followed by a glorious, easy ripening September that allowed the Chardonnay to hang until early October. Our 56 tons of Chardonnay were harvested from October 1 to 10, 2016 at an average 25.0° Brix.
Winemaking: The Home Ranch Chardonnay was harvested just before sunrise on October 1, and brought to the crush pad by tractor. Slusser Ranch Chardonnay was hand harvested the nights of October 8, and 10, using tractors fitted with lights. The cold fruit was picked into half-ton bins and hauled the short distance to the winery. Once the grapes arrived, we hand-sorted the fruit using a custom made sorting conveyor. The Chardonnay was whole cluster pressed while still cold. The juice was cold settled, and then racked to 60 gallon French and Hungarian oak barrels for fermentation. The wine was aged on lees for 10 months.
Tasting Notes: Our 2016 Chardonnay is a straw-gold color. It has intense aromas of spiced apple, lemon verbena, fresh butter and toasted pumpkin seed. It has flavors of Bosc pear, Gravenstein apple, macaroon and freshly baked bread. On the palate it is medium weight, bright and long with a silken finish. (Tasted 1/22/17)
Variety: 100% Chardonnay
Age of Vines: 23 to 25 years
Harvest Dates: October 1, 8, and 10, 2016
Fermentation: Barrel Fermented; Combination of native and commercial yeasts
Malolactic fermentation: Partial
Length/Type of Aging: 10 months in 60 gal oak barrels on lees.
Oak Types: 100% new French & Hungarian oak from Nadalie, Remond & Trust
Bottling Dates: August 9 to 10, 2017