2020 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.
- An excellent low yielding site, classic winemaking techniques and careful maturation in new French oak capture the typicity of this site - and the purity of this noble variety.
The complexity and depth of our 2020 Chardonnay comes from two clonal selections grown on the chilly Sonoma Coast, a terrific spot for exemplary cool-climate Chardonnay. This site is west of the town of Sonoma in gently rolling hills. The soils are clay loams, dusted with fossilized seashells.
In 2020 we had adequate rainfall over the winter and spring temperatures were perfect for vine growth and berry development. The summer was perfect temperature for flavor development. While later-ripening red varieties suffered from the fires in the area, we were luckily spared.
Hand-harvested at an average Brix of 26.1, 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 15% new French, 85% 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 and was followed by ten months maturation with battonage every few weeks. This contributed nuanced spiciness and a creamy, almost saline-like mouth-feel.