Our Califa Chardonnay opens with aromas of lemon zest, ripe pineapple, nectarine and toasted hazelnut. The palate bursts with bright nuances of grapefruit juice, Bosc pear, honeycrisp apple and slight vanilla. This is a classically luxurious Chardonnay with bright, juicy 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.
2014 began with a very warm, dry winter, leading to an early bud break in mid-February. A warm spring and summer combined to give us our earliest harvest ever, which is beneficial for this style of wine because of the acidity retention. Furthermore, a lack of heat spikes allowed us to pick the grapes at peak maturity, resulting in a beautiful Chardonnay.
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 Clone 96 and Clone 76. Both clones are from the Dijon series, displaying good acidity along with classic Chardonnay citrus and tropical notes. We select the more elevated sections of the vineyard that produce naturally lower yields, resulting in more focused fruit and a concentrated texture.