2018 FORAGER Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast
- 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 new French oak capture the typicity of these sites - and the purity of this noble variety.
We call our wine 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 2018 Chardonnay comes from two clonal selections grown on the chilly Sonoma Coast, a terrific spot for exemplary cool-climate Chardonnay. The first site, near Slusser Road, was planted over 15 years ago and is hand-pruned and hand-picked. The soils in these low yielding locations are clay loams, dusted with fossilized seashells. The second site is on the south-western-most edge of the AVA and soils tend to be more clay and sandstone.
Hand-harvested between September 2 and 7 at an average Brix of 24.8, 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 (70% (made up of 25% new French, 75% neutral French barrels)) and stainless steel tank (30%). Moderate fermentation temperatures (85°F) and a slow ferment helped develop aromatics. ML took place in the French barrels lots (70%) and was followed by ten months maturation with battonage every three weeks. This contributed nuanced spiciness and a creamy, almost saline-like mouth-feel.