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As in past vintages, Ed Sbragia chose to barrel ferment and age the 1999 Sbragia Limited Release Chardonnay for almost ten months in custom toasted, new French Nevers oak barrels to encourage nutmeg and caramel notes. Malolactic fermentation and weekly lees stirring enhanced the wine's inherent buttery aromas and flavors and gave it a creamy, rich, viscous mouthfeel.
Early in the 1999 growing season, Beringer's vineyard manager Bob Steinhauer identifed specific blocks at Gamble Ranch Vineyard near Yountville as looking particularly promising. Each year, Gamble's rocky, alluvial soils produce grapes with incomparable richness and a high intensity of flavors. Bob was quite sure the grapes would at least achieve Private Reserve quality but he was hopeful that they might develop enough opulent, honeyed, ripe fruit characteristics to be chosen for Winemaster Ed Sbragia's Limited Release Chardonnay. As harvest approached, Ed and Bob both agreed that Gamble Ranch would produce the grapes best suited for the rich style of the Sbragia's signature wine.
The 1999 was an exceptionally long, cool growing season. Cool spring temperatures delayed bud break, flowering and fruit-set by about three weeks, and the weather remained moderate throughout the growing season. Ed and Bob waited as long as possible before harvesting, pushing the pinnacle of ripeness in the Chardonnay grapes that showed the best potential for richness and complexity, essential for the Sbragia Limited Release, to allow full development of aromas and flavors. The fruit from Gamble Ranch was handpicked so the clusters would be treated as gently as possible.
No winery or vineyard more thoroughly embodies the timeless appeal and seductive flavor of Napa Valley than Beringer Vineyards, Napa's benchmark producer since the establishment of the vineyard in 1876.
Now in its third century of crafting classic wines from Napa's finest appellations and vineyards, Beringer today is guided by the inspired partnership of celebrated Winemaster...Read More About Beringer
It's hard not to think of Napa Valley when thinking of California wines. The region is, after all, the one that brought world recognition to California wine making. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard...Read More About Napa Valley
White Wine's Queen Bee
Sauvignon, Chardonnay can grow just about anywhere. It adapts well to different
soils and different climates. While frequently paired with
its native home lies in the vineyards of Burgundy,
France. The only major white grape of the region, Chardonnay is at its best on the rolling...Read More About Chardonnay
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