2013 Califa Chardonnay
Our Califa Chardonnay opens with aromas of lemon potpurri, dried pineapple, lemongrass and toasted hazelnut. The palate bursts with bright nuances of grapefruit juice, Asian pear, golden apple and slight vanilla. This is a classically luxurious Chardonnay with bright, crisp fruit and a beautiful creamy texture framed by balanced acidity.
Chamisal was the first vineyard planted in the Edna Valley in 1973 and now contains 80 acres planted to 5 varieties and 25 clonal selections. The nearby Pacific ocean creates a long temperate growing season for exceptional hang time, which combines with the calcareous, clay-rich soil to produce fruit with exceptional intensity and complex flavors.
2013 started with a dry winter resulting in only 8.5 inches of rain. A warm February initiated an early budbreak and continuous warmer than average temperatures culminated in an early Harvest. Dry and consistently warm temperatures throughout summer and fall allowed grapes to hang until optimum ripeness. Overall, this was a stunning vintage with excellent balance.
This fruit was selected from two of our seven Estate Chardonnay blocks. The grapes were hand picked and meticulously hand sorted before being gently whole cluster pressed at low pressures, yielding very clean juice. After cold settling overnight, the juice was racked to French oak barriques for fermentation using predominantly native yeasts. Battonage (barrel stirring) was performed frequently during fermentation and periodically during post-fermentation to build mid palate texture. The wine underwent full malolactic fermentation in barrel.
This vintage, our Califa Chardonnay is comprised of our Chamise Clone, Clone 96 and Clone 352. Clone 96 is one of the Dijon series, displaying good acidity along with classic Chardonnay citrus and tropical notes. Clone 352 originated in the Jura region of France and shows caramel, butterscotch and lychee characters. We select the more elevated sections of the vineyard that produce naturally lower yields, resulting in more focused fruit and a concentrated texture.