The grapes for the 2009 Late Harvest Chardonnay come exclusively from the Manchester Ridge vineyard of Mendocino County. This luscious, deeply hued golden elixir opens with captivating aromas of ripe apricot, jasmine blossoms, golden apple and sultanas. Full-bodied with balanced acidity, flavors of pear, peach and creamed honey with a dollop of vanilla lengthen into a long, smooth finish. Careful tending of the vineyard provided optimal growing conditions for the Chardonnay grape. However, the rare conditions of 2009 allowed botrytis cinerea or "Noble Rot" to take hold on the grape skins, and you can reap the rewards! To balance sweetness with natural acidity, grape lots were selected in the vineyard and then hand sorted at the winery. The grapes underwent a very slow fermentation over six weeks at low temperature. Upon completion of fermentation, the wine was moved into oak barrels for 12 months, and then placed in stainless steel tanks until bottling without filtration in late 2012."
Gold Medal 90 Points, Tastings.com 1/4/16 Publication
Silver Medalist 2015 Los Angeles International Wine Competition
Silver Medalist 2015 Mendocino County Wine Competition
Silver Medalist 2015 San Francisco International Wine Competition
The fruit was transferred to Richmond Cold Storage, and was frozen until March when we brought it back to the winery. The frozen clusters were transferred to the press and gently pressed over the next 36 hours, extracting only the sweetest of juice. The juice was settled overnight in tank and transferred to French oak barrels for fermentation, initiated by the addition of yeast RHST. During the course of fermentation, which lasted for 28 days, the juice was stirred twice daily. Once primary fermentation was completed, the wine received a Sulfur addition to prevent the onset of secondary fermentation. Prior to bottling the wine was protein stabilized by adding bentonite, cold stabilized and sterile filtered.