2009 Los Alamos Vineyard Chardonnay
This chardonnay comes from a high elevation site on Los Alamos Vineyard, where the soil changes from typical Los Alamos sand to calcaric shale and limestone. The grapes were handpicked on September 3rd and barrel fermented in French Oak (1/4 new). We make chardonnay in the most minimalist way possible. The fruit is picked early in the morning (so that it is naturally cold) and pressed directly into a tank. As soon as the pressing is finished, the juice is put into barrel with all of its solids. The wine fermented completely dry through both primary and then later maloactic fermentation. It was then left to age (with only topping and small sulfur additions) until it was racked 13 months later. There were only 6 barrels produced in 2009 (less than 150 cases). This wine was bottled unfiltered after 16 months in barrel.
The nose is dominated by classic chardonnay characteristics of citrus, very present stone fruit, honey blossom, and lemon rind. On the palate the fruit is reminiscent of citrus, baking spice, toasted almonds and ripe green apple. This wine was aged for 16 months in barrel, giving it texture and natural richness. I use this traditional technique to make a lush and generous wine while keeping a high acidity and low alcohol. This makes it enjoyable on its own but also very food friendly.
The finish is long, and with intense minerality and refreshing acidity.