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Ample winter rainfall in 2017 was welcome after five years of drought and set up excellent budbreak, bloom and set. Optimal temperatures throughout the growing season allowed for even ripening, and harvest dates returned to normal ranges. Yields were healthy and overall quality was exceptional.
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 one-year-old barrels, and a third 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 apricot, pineapple and baked spiced apple are accented by hints of vanilla bean and toffee. On the palate, layers of toasty oak and creamy pear are balanced with bright acidity, leading to a silky, lingering finish. This Chardonnay will gain even more complexity with additional bottle age.
224 cases produced Alcohol 14.4%