2001 was a long growing season with early bud break at all the sites. The summer was long and mild (with an occasional heat spike) followed by a pleasant September. Most of the grapes were picked around the second half of September 2001. The moderate crop in 2001 produced intense and concentrated Chardonnays with fully mature flavor and well balanced natural acidity. In spite of the smallish crop we applied a very rigorous vineyard selection and lots of hand sorting of the clusters. We hand sorted three times in virtually every vineyard - just prior to harvest we dropped any clusters that seemed damaged, we sorted as the grapes were being placed into the harvest bins and finally we ran all the Chardonnay over a sorting table at the winery.
The grapes were neither crushed or de-stemmed before they were pressed, instead a very gentle technique called "whole cluster pressing" was used to insure only the most delicate and perfumed fruitiness in the wine. The clusters are loaded directly into the press and then gently and repeatedly pressed at very low pressures to extract the juice. The juice is then cold settled and racked into small French oak barrels to ferment. We encourage malo-lactic fermentation to add complexity, and also for the textural components brought into the finished wines. After primary fermentation is complete, we continue to lees stir to encourage malo-lactic fermentation and to better integrate all the flavors of the fruit, oak and lees into a seamless whole. Aged sur lie for 10 months - the wine was then bottled without filtration.
Pale, yellow green-gold color; flamboyant, mango-pear aromas, tangerine blossom with hazelnut & clove; big, thick texture with perfumed flavors of pear, pineapple, toast and spice are well integrated with aromatic - peach and floral notes; long & creamy finish.