2016 Zotovich Vineyard Chardonnay
This Chardonnay opens with aromas of baked bread, white nectarine, peach juice, and toasted oak. The palate bursts with bright nuances of meyer lemon, orange zest, Asian pear and cinnamon toast. This is a classically luxurious Chardonnay with bright, clean fruit evolving through the palate, balanced by excellent texture and vibrant acidity.
One of the most iconic vineyards of the Santa Rita Hills, Zotovich Vineyard is close to the center of the AVA on Highway 246. Relatively sheltered from the cool ocean breezes, this site can get quite warm. Calcium rich soils combined with sandy loam and clay loam soils make for excellent growing conditions for Chardonnay throughout the appellation.
The normal rainfall in 2016 really helped the vines by flushing the root zone a little bit, and as a result, we saw higher grape quality. Cool temperatures in August allowed us to bring in fruit at a steady pace without any major heat spikes. Additionally, the early pick of the Pinot Noir kept the natural acidity moderately high, resulting in a beautiful Chardonnay.
After meticulous hand sorting at night, the grapes were whole cluster pressed using a very gentle Champagne-style press cycle. The juice was racked to barrel without any settling for a lengthy primary fermentation with apple stirring of the lees. Full malolactic fermentation occured in barrel, followed by 10 months of sur lie aging. The wines were then racked to 40% new French oak barrels for fourteen months of elevage.