2018 Russian River Chardonnay 750ml
GOLD MEDAL - Sonoma County Harvest Fair
92 points - Meridith May, The Tasting Panel magazine
Vineyards: Our Chardonnay is made from our two mature vineyards in the Russian River Valley. 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 2018: Moderate temperatures (aside from a brief heat spike in June), adequate rainfall, and no frost pressure set the stage for even maturation of early season cultivars. The temperate late summer and early fall weather resulted in an elongated harvest. October 1st rain provided drama, soaking the tight clustered Chardonnay which required a pass to remove botrytis.
Winemaking: The Slusser Ranch Chardonnay was harvested before sunrise on October 6. Home Ranch Chardonnay was hand harvested the night of October 10. 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 7 months.
Tasting Notes: Our 2018 Chardonnay is as bright as a freshly sliced pineapple . It has intense aromas of Bosque pear, Amaretti, macaroon and lemon. By mouth these aromas are joined by toffee, cardamom cheesecake and ripe apple. . The palate is full, juicy and light on its feet, striking a delicious balance of Californian and French style. (Tasted 6-17-19)
Varietal: 100% Chardonnay
Total Production: 3525 cases
Vineyard location: Slusser Ranch and Home Ranch
Soil type: Cortina gravelly loam and Wright loam
Age of vines: 25 to 27 years
Harvest dates: October 6 and 10, 2018
Fermentation: barrel fermented, combination of native and commercial yeasts
Avg. Brix at harvest: 24.0
Malolactic fermentation: partial
Titratable acidity: 0.63g/100mL
Oak utilized: 30% new and 70% one to two year old French & Hungarian oak from Nadalie, Remond, Trust, and Marcel Cadet
Aging: 100% barrel fermented, 7 months in 60-gal oak barrels on lees
Residual sugar: 0.29%
Bottling dates: July 2 to 3, 2019