The 2008 harvest started off a bit challenging, but produced beautiful fruit all the same. The year began with unexpected late frost, heat spikes and unseasonable rain. However, the end of spring and all through summer provided idyllic conditions that remained around 80 degrees with dry weather and few heat spikes. Lower yields allowed intense, superb fruit to develop.
Martin Ray summarized our winemaking method when he said: "We add nothing to our wines, nor do we take anything from them. With infinite care, we leave them alone." Aging in French oak barrels "on the lees" develops rounder, creamier texture in the wine. Our 2008 Russian River Valley Chardonnay is aged for 16 months in barrel. It begins with aromas highlighted by fresh melon and vanilla. The wine's superior structure and balance have a backbone of crisp apple, melon and creamy vanilla flavors that continue flawlessly on to a ripe and elegant finish.