The Carneros Chardonnay is first and foremost about aromatics, and the techniques used are designed to retain the signature Carneros aromas of lemon-citrus and white blossom while accentuating the minerality and vivid, fresh fruit flavors of citrus and stone fruits in the wine. Partial barrel fermentation, malolactic and lees stirring create layers, imparting hints of cedar and honey and wrapping the flavors in a rich, generously-textured mouthfeel.
The 2012 vintage was an ideal growing season from bud break to harvest. The cold winter delayed bud break briefly until spring temperatures allowed uniform shoots to development. The weather during bloom was ideal for fruit set and a large percentage of flowers developed into berries. During the summer the cycle of warm days and cool nights allowed verasion to progress uniformly and quickly. The consistent temperatures and absence of heat spikes removed the risk of sunburn and allow for even ripening. After the prior two late vintages, growers were grateful to start harvest in late August. With warm sunny days, harvest progressed with a steady flow of high quality fruit being delivered to the winery daily. In October cold rains forced many growers to postpone harvest until the wind could dry out the vineyards. A late heat wave was perfect for finishing up the season.