2016 Stainless Chardonnay
This complex wine exhibits classic varietal characteristics with aromas of ripe pineapple, fresh Gala apples, pear and candied lemon. The palate has a weight that belies its unoaked status with a rich entry of fresh citrus fruit that leads into secondary aromas of fig and mineral. Finishing clean and crisp with lingering acidity, the wine is fresh and vivacious with a dense mid-palate. This vintage proves that with the right grapes and winemaking, Chardonnay does not need oak or malolactic fermentation to shine.
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.
2016 started with an early budbreak and a warmer Spring. We saw more overall balance in grape chemistry with help from an average rainfall after the four year draught. A hot July followed by a cooler August allowed for a nice drawn out harvest, giving us all the tools to make excellent Chardonnay. This vintage will stand out as one of the better Chardonnay years on the central coast.
The fruit was processed as soon as possible after picking and pressed cool to preserve freshness. The juice was racked to tank for a 24-hour period of cold settling, then it was racked to another stainless steel tank for a long, cool, carefully controlled fermentation, utilizing a number of different yeast strains to add complexity to the wine. Following fermentation, the wine was immediately racked off the lees, stabilized and bottled to capture the pure essence of the Chardonnay varietal.
The majority of this Chardonnay is made from Clones 4 and 5, two nearly identical clones that provide ample aromatics of crisp apple, tropical fruit and a keen acidity that is vital in an unoaked Chardonnay. Smaller amounts of Dijon Clones 75, 76 and 96 provide accents of minerality, nuttiness and a lush midpalate.