The Chardonnay at Block B on our Oak Hill site was planted in 1974, making it one of the two oldest vineyards at Chalk Hill. Though its rootstocks, budwood and trellis system no longer seem "cutting edge," the vineyard consistently proves one of the basic tenets of winemaking dogma: site is the most important factor in grape and wine quality. The soil at Oak Hill is deep with excellent water-holding capacity. Even without irrigation, the vines always show a perfect balance between fruit and vegetation. With minimal viticultural intervention the vines thrive and yield incredibly concentrated and exotically complex Chardonnay. The 1996 growing season, with its ample heat, extracted the quintessential expression of this vineyard enclave. This Estate Vineyard Selection Chardonnay is replete with ripe citrus and tropical fruit flavors, and the finish is rich and voluptuous.
The wine was produced with traditional Burgundian methods: whole cluster pressing, fermentation with natural yeasts and malolactic bacteria, and ageing sur lies. This Estate Vineyard Selection was matched to a higher percentage of new French oak than our Estate Bottled Chardonnay, and the wine was aged for a longer period.