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Adequate rainfall over the winter months led to a normal budbreak in spring. Good moisture in the soil spurred healthy vine growth and ideal yields. Temperatures throughout the summer and fall were in normal ranges, leading to a long growing season and excellent hang time for the fruit to ripen.
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 white peach, apricot and hazelnut are accented by hints of butterscotch and flan. On the palate, a foundation of subtle French oak is framed by juicy flavors of white nectarine and pistachio nut ice cream. Bright and complex, the wine culminates in a rich, lingering finish. This Chardonnay will gain even more complexity with additional bottle age.
202 cases produced Alcohol 14.5%