1999 was a great year for Chardonnay. The growing season was so long and cool that the grapes were not picked until late in the harvest. This allowed ample time for full flavor and aroma development. The wine has deep tropical pear and pineapple aromas with the luscious palate flavours of apple and sweet melons. The wine is 50% barrel fermented "sur lies" and is aged in French oak for eight months, which adds the toasty, creamy texture and flavor to the finish.
When searching for top quality Chardonnay in California, there seems to be impressive wines coming from every major viticultural area in the state. The search becomes more focused as we develop our own stylistic preferences for our Diamond Series Chardonnay. We have settled on northern Monterey County, near Salinas, where the fog and wind blow through the valley almost constantly, keeping the area cool and the growing season lengthy. The wines here are very aromatic and are loaded with bright apple flavors and aromas. They tend to have higher acidity levels that really are ideal for both barrel and malolactic fermentation. But for the wonderfully expressive tropical fruit flavors, we need to blend vineyards from the warmer climates of the state like San Luis Obispo and Mendocino Counties. These grapes give us the powerful pineapple and sweet pear flavors that both add density and round the palette of the finished wine. The end result from blending the same grape but from different growing areas is to make a more interesting and enjoyable wine for our customers and clients.