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Kuleto Estate Chardonnay 1999

Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
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    Winemaker Notes

    We grow the fruit for this handcrafted Chardonnay under challenging conditions in our steep hillside vineyards. The rugged terrain of the 2 1/2 acre planting is cooled nightly by air inversions from nearby Clear Creek. Our vineyard blend of diverse clonal and field selections yields a wine of great complexity.

    High quality, low yield havest of only 4 tons, picked on September 23... whole cluster pressed, aged and stirred sur lies for 11 months... 100% barrel fermented in 60% new French oak.

    This Chardonnay has vivid floral aromas and a creamy texture, a fruit-laden palate suggesting ripe pears warmed with brown sugar and nutmeg spice, balanced acidity, and a long finish.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Kuleto Estate

    Kuleto Estate

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    Kuleto Estate, Napa Valley, California
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    In 1992, culinary entrepreneur Pat Kuleto assembled five parcels from cattle ranchers to create a 761-acre ranch of wild hillside land on the eastern edge of the Napa Valley, overlooking Lake Hennessey, Pritchard Hill and the towns of Rutherford and St. Helena.

    Plantings included cabernet sauvignon, sangiovese, pinot noir, chardonnay, syrah, zinfandel and muscat, planted at elevations ranging from 800 to 1450 feet. Construction of the state-of-the-art Kuleto-designed winery was finished in 2001, completing the vineyard estate that had grown to include extensive orchards, gardens, and a working ranch with sheep, fowl, cattle and fish from the property’s Lake Brunello.

    Winemaker Dave Lattin and vineyard manager Alberto Ochoa individually cultivate and craft the small vineyard blocks at every stage of their development, focusing on lots as small as half a ton. Kuleto Estate is crafting excellent wines of character and distinction that reflect the remarkable attributes of their unique terroir.

    Napa Valley

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    One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production and tourism, the Napa Valley is the AVA that brought worldwide recognition to California winemaking. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

    Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two are St.-Helena and the valley's newest AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap District, and Mt. Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

    Chardonnay

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    One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

    In the Glass

    When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.

    Perfect Pairings

    Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based sauces.

    Sommelier Secret

    Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.

    KVWCHARD_1999 Item# 40045