Pale yellow in color with glints of green and gold, this refreshing and crisp, Chablis-style chardonnay displays an aroma of barely-ripe pear and yellow apple, along with a touch of lemon pith and bright chervil. On the palate, you’ll find lively acidity with hints of green and yellow apple, ripe pear, lemon zest, and chalky crushed white stones.
The bed of the Arroyo Seco River which predominately exists as a dry riverbed alluvial mixed with fertile Salinas Valley soils creates an amazing foundation for these vines. Its location in the very southwest of Salinas Valley at the entrance of the Arroyo Seco Canyon provides consistent heat and evening maritime cooling which influences a longer yet intense growing season. The earthy notes are a result of this unique soil and climate conditions.
Though picked at a lower brix the cooler season allowed for a longer hang time. The style choice dictates lower alcohol and higher acidity contrary to the typical ripeness of California Chardonnay. The yeast choice and extremely cold, slow fermentation produce a grassy, citrus essence reminiscent of a Sauvignon Blanc. After a 30-day fermentation, the wine was put in 100% neutral French oak barrels and began cold stabilization on April 8. The wine was fined for protein stability and filtered prior to bottling.
The vineyard and the winemaking style bring about characteristics of minerality, flint, and salinity. The typical aspects of Chardonnay are restrained while the crisp acidity and mineral notes dominate. I love minerality and flinty wine without the oak essence. As a winemaker, minerality is the holy grail.
Food Pairing Notes
This easy to drink and versatile chardonnay would do well on its own as an apéritif, but also complements grilled chicken and vegetables, seafood, savory quiche, and fresh baked bread and butter.