OBSERVATIONS ON THE 2003 VINTAGE
Strange, weird and wonderful capture the roller coaster of the 2003 growing
season. It started early, stayed late, and along the way brought upside down
weather patterns that found days warm when they should be cool, and cool
when they should be warm. Bud break for Chardonnay began to creep out in
the warmest hillsides in February following an exceptionally mild winter. We
had rain and cold in April, warm May days, showers in June and thunderstorms
in July. Go figure.
While we worried about rain during harvest, we found instead a beautiful
Indian Summer that let grapes hang and develop full flavors, with higher acids
that lead to this vintage having a bright, crisp showing that should be very
pleasing. Flavors were even more concentrated as most vineyards found yields
for Chardonnay 20-30% below average, allowing vines to concentrate energy
in the fruit. Judicious shoot thinning and the careful eye that comes with
organic farming led, in the end, to one of the most memorable vintages of the
new century so far.
TASTING NOTES FROM WINEMAKER ROBERT BLUE
Our style continues to evolve toward a more international benchmark, with
fruit forward expressions characterized by a lighter touch of oak. It's new style
Chardonnay, which captures the best of the vintage. Classic Mendocino
aromas of crisp green apples are followed with hints of toasty oak spice. The
Dijon clone offers up definitive baked apple notes, with a touch of vanilla.
Rounding out first impressions are lemony citrus tones that add complexity
and brightness to the wine. Once in the mouth, you'll find this Chardonnay
to be well balanced, with the higher acids predominant in this
vintage providing a solid backbone. A creamy mid-palate gives
way to a slightly caramelized flavor leading to an extended, lingering,
bright fruit finish. It's a multi-dimensional wine made more flavorful by the
wonderful organic fruit we're privileged to farm.
THE BONTERRA PHILOSOPHY
We honor the land by farming organically, creating rich soils that provide
healthy vines the opportunity to deliver wonderfully flavorful fruit. With
every sip of Bonterra wine, you can taste our natural commitment. There's no
other way to fully capture the expression of our Mendocino terroir.
David Koball, Vineyard Manager