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Santa Barbara County experienced a mild winter and below average rainfall for the fourth year in a row, which contributed to an early budbreak. Temperate conditions continued throughout the growing season, resulting in one of the earliest harvests on record. Grape quality and yields were excellent.
The Garey Vineyard lies in the heart of the Santa Maria Valley on a bench above the small town of Garey. The terroir is one of gently rolling slopes with sandy loam soils. The coastal fog influence and the cool afternoon breezes are the perfect climate for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The vineyard was planted in 1998 by the Robert Mondavi Winery and is also SIP (sustainability in practice) certified.
Chardonnay clusters were hand-picked into half-ton bins and gently pressed in a tank press. The juice was cold settled for 36 hours, then racked off the lees, inoculated with yeast and immediately transferred to French oak barrels for fermentation. A third of the barrels were new French oak, a third were one-year-old barrels, and a third were two-year-old barrels. After the primary fermentation was complete, the barrels were topped and moved to a 65-degree cellar to undergo malo-lactic fermentation, during which time they were stirred every 10 days. The wine remained in barrel for 14 months until it was racked to tank and filtered once before bottling.
Aromas of guava, pineapple and golden delicious apple are accented by hints of cinnamon stick, hazelnut and subtle oak. The wine is beautifully balanced with crisp acidity, a rich mid-palate and lingering finish. This Chardonnay will gain even more complexity with additional bottle age.
304 cases produced Alcohol 14.4%