It is Chardonnay and that is all I am going to say about that. Whoa, is this Chardonnay screaming for an adirondack chair and good conversation? The changes in the vineyard are really allowing us to make a complex and structured Chardonnay. The vintage is primarily Canoe Ridge Vineyard fruit and the classic and delicate peach, honeysuckle, freshly sliced pineapple, and mineral aromas of the vineyard are present. We have been fortunate enough to be able to continue to blend a small portion of Vanessa Vineyard from the Walla Walla Valley. Vanessa lends a great mango character that adds a tropical fruit aroma to the nose and viscosity to the mouth. Thank you Terry and Diane Farley for growing great Chardonnay.
Our winemaking practices haven't changed. The handpicked fruit is whole cluster pressed and fermented in 80 percent new and one-year-old French oak barrels. The remaining 20 percent is tank fermented in a temperature controlled, cool environment. With the large percentage of new wood, some of the barrel fermented lots are racked from barrel to tank after yeast and malolactic fermentation is completed. The tank lot too, is racked off its fermentation lees and allowed to age a few additional months in the barrels.
This is a big, rich Chardonnay that can handle a diversity of food. It isn't afraid of cool, dark cellars to gain some bottle bouquet. I recommend a simple pork roast and applesauce. This Chardonnay would pair very well with the Rhode Island clam bake prepared by my good friend and Chalone Wine Group's amazing Northeastern Regional Sales Manager, Cathy Harrison. Try pairing this Chardonnay with some of my favorite seafood dishes; oysters, singing scallops, spicy tuna roll, troll caught King salmon, mussels in green curry, grilled halibut or blackened catfish with hush puppies.
You will have to try this wine while listening to Aerosmith's song "Sweet Emotion." -John Abbott, Winemaker