2021 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 of our 2021 Chardonnay comes from three selections grown west of Hwy 101 on the chilly Sonoma Coast, a terrific spot for exemplary cool-climate Chardonnay. These sites are west of the town of Sonoma all the way out to the Fort Ross-Seaview AVA in gently rolling hills. The soils are clay loams or Goldridge, often dusted with fossilized seashells. Regional Composition: Sonoma Coast AVA 100% Varietal Composition: Clone/Selections: Wente, Montrachet, Clone 95
In 2021 we had adequate rainfall over the winter and spring temperatures were perfect for vine growth and berry development. While the crop was light, the summer was perfect temperature for flavor development.
Hand-harvested at an average Brix of 26.4, the compact Chardonnay bunches were gently pressed. After settling, it was racked and fermentation began naturally and was completed with prevailing “local” yeasts. Fermentation and maturation took place in both barrel (90%) - made up of 20% new French, 80% neutral French barrels - and stainless steel tank (10%). Moderate fermentation temperatures (85°F) and a slow ferment helped develop aromatics. ML took place in the winter and was followed by thirteen months maturation with battonage every few weeks. This contributed nuanced spiciness and a creamy, almost saline-like mouth-feel.