2020 Bismark Chardonnay 750ml
Vineyard: Our Bismark Mountain vineyard is high in the Moon Mountain District, above the city of Sonoma and the San Pablo Bay. Here, on the southwestern flanks of the Mayacamas Mountains amid 67 acres of red grapes, we also grow 1000 vines of Chardonnay and 100 vines of Riesling. The Chardonnay was grafted onto a mixed block of Sangiovese and Syrah in 2009 on thin soils composed of volcanic Rhyolitic tuff and lava.
Russian River Valley 2020: In Contrast with 2019, winter was mild and dry with a very warm February and early bud break. A near frost free spring and hot temperatures in May followed by a mid-month rain reduced fruit set. Summer was mild until two hot windy days in mid-August accelerated the lightning caused Walbridge fire west of our vineyards. Potential smoke taint was only a small concern for our early ripening Bismark Chardonnay, and smoke taint results quickly came back negative. We harvested the grapes on August 28, 2020 at an average 24.4 o Brix, TA 0.77 g/100 mL and pH of 3.59.
Winemaking: We pressed the Chardonnay as whole clusters, to collect limpid juice without bitterness. We did not use the high press juice in this wine. It was barrel fermented in two-year old barrels, and then four barrels were transferred to “Petra,” one of our Sonoma Cast Stone Tanks, after five months. The wine was sur lie aged for 18 months before bottling in April 2022.
Tasting Notes: The voice is Bismark Mountain. Distinctive, powerful, pure. A Summer’s lay-about on warm riparian granite, orange blossom, baked bosc, Gravenstein, marmalade, and brown butter toasted sage. By mouth its renditions of Pink Lady apples, panna cotta and arepa linger viscously on the palate (tasted 9-1-22)
Bismark Mountain block 14. Wente clones on 110R
Age of Vines
Planted 1993, grafted 2009
Titratable Acidity (TA)
0.77 g/100 mL
August 28, 2020
Brix at Harvest 24.4o
Cellar Temp ~58 o F
Length/Type of Aging
19 months total in a combination of two-year-old barrels, and “Petra” (one of our Sonoma Cast Stone tanks)
April 20, 2022
Number of Cases