2015 THE FORAGER Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast
A rich and complex Chardonnay comes from grown on the chilly Sonoma Coast, a terrific spot for exemplary cool-climate Chardonnay.
• THE FORAGER Chardonnay illustrates that experienced and careful selection, blending and maturation of Chardonnay lots grown in diverse Sonoma Coast locations can deliver delicious flavor and interest. The sum is greater than the parts.
• Excellent low yielding sites, classic winemaking techniques and careful maturation in top new French oak capture the typicity of these sites - and the purity of this noble variety.
We call our wine THE FORAGER to illustrate how growing, gathering & judiciously blending small lots of delicious Sonoma Coast Chardonnay can deliver serious flavor and interest.
The complexity and depth of our 2015 Chardonnay comes from two clonal selections grown on the chilly Sonoma Coast, a terrific spot for exemplary cool-climate Chardonnay. These sites were planted over 15 years ago and are hand-pruned and hand-picked. The soils in these low yielding locations are clay loams, dusted with fossilized seashells.
In 2015 we had some challenges with small fruit “set” and inconvenient weather patterns so yields were down almost 30%. The vintage will likely go down in the books as “challenging” along the Sonoma Coast, but luckily there were many very fine lots produced – just not enough of them.
Hand-harvested between September 2 and 19 at an average Brix of 22.7, the compact Chardonnay bunches were gently pressed. After settling, it was racked and fermentation began naturally and was completed with prevailing “native” yeasts. Fermentation and maturation took place in both barrel (80% (made up of 15% new French, 85% neutral French barrels)) and stainless steel tank (20%). Moderate fermentation temperatures (85°F) and a slow ferment helped develop aromatics. ML took place in the French barrels lots (80%) and was followed by eleven months maturation with battonage every three weeks. This contributed nuanced spiciness and a creamy, almost saline-like mouth-feel.