2019 Clone Seventeen Estate Chardonnay
16 months in French Oak Barrels, 32% new oak
Our 2019 vintage has a delicate balance of golden delicious apples, nectarine, and a touch of passion fruit. Aged in steam bent versus toasted French barrels to let the fruit shine through, this vintage has aromas of apple blossoms, sweet oranges, and ripe peaches. On the palate, it is medium bodied with a bright acid finish. Beautifully paired with seafood.
We handpicked our Chardonnay early in the morning and the whole clusters were delivered to our bladder press for gentle pressing. The juice was moved to a stainless steel tank for settling and then racked to barrels where primary fermentation was initiated. During secondary fermentation, we allowed the wine to reach 80% Malic acid conversion providing the balance and richness that are hallmarks of our Chardonnays. We kept 20% of our native Malic acid to preserve acidity and some “crispness” in the finish. As with our Alexander Valley Chardonnay, the wine is aged sur lie in 100% French oak, however, we selected steam bent versus toasted barrels for the Clone 17. This lends oak characteristics to the wine but allows the fruit to shine through more than the toasted oak barrels. While aging, the barrels were periodically stirred to develop a creamy texture and exotic flavors. After 18 months, the wine was racked from barrels to tanks for the final blend assemblage. - Matt Michael, Winemaker