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Santa Maria Valley experienced a relatively warm growing season in 2016, resulting in an early harvest. Rainfall was below average for the fifth year in a row, which contributed to lower yields in the vineyards. Clusters and berries were small, translating to excellent concentration and aromatics.
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 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 three weeks. The wine remained in barrel for 14 months until it was racked to tank where it was clarified and filtered once before bottling.
Aromas of ripe pineapple, white peach and creamy pear are accented by hints of hazelnut, Mexican flan and subtle oak. The wine is beautifully balanced with bright acidity, a richly layered mid-palate and lingering finish. This Chardonnay will gain even more complexity with additional bottle age.
196 cases produced Alcohol 14.4%