2020 Clone Seventeen Estate Chardonnay
16 months in French Oak Barrels, 32% new oak
August 21 – September 1, 2020
Our 2020 is an elegant expression of our chardonnay Clone 17. Aged in steam bent versus toasted French barrels to allow the fruit to shine through, this vintage has aromas and flavors of nectarine, white peach, mango, and a touch of citrus peel, vanilla, white pepper, and nutmeg. Medium bodied with beautiful bright acids that create a balance, long-lasting finish. This wine is perfect on its own or paired with seafood, roasted chicken, creamy pasta, or a fresh fruit dessert.
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, such as viscosity and palate weight 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