Silverado Carneros Chardonnay 2017
Every vintage tells a story and Napa Valley’s 2017 is no exception. From abundant winter rains to cool spring weather, warm summer temperatures and October’s wildfires, this vintage may be more memorable than most. Plentiful winter rains helped refresh our groundwater and the vines and led to a cool, mild spring. An unusual hailstorm in early June had little effect on the overall crop.
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Made with fruit from two vineyard sites with soils that range from sandy gravel to steep 50-degree slopes of sandstone and shale, this impressive white leads with classic aromas but elevates to a luxury level. Butterscotch and apple pie are remarkably seductive on the creamy mouthfeel, which is woven through with lithe acidity. Light and sweet, lemon blossom morphs into savory tones of basil and oregano. 100% barrel-fermented and aged eight months in French oak (20% new).
Nestled in the hills on the North West side of the Stags Leap District, Silverado Vineyards Winery has been a favorite wine country destination and home to some of the Napa Valley’s most-recognized wines for almost forty years. In 1981, Ron and Diane Disney Miller and her mother, Lillian Disney, established Silverado Vineyards to make wines from the historic sites of the estate the family owns. The winery was named in honor of the Silverado Vineyard, one of the first four in Stags Leap District to plant Cabernet in the 1960s. The vineyard pays homage to the abandoned mining town at the top of the Valley which also inspired the name of the famous Silverado Trail where Silverado Vineyards and other iconic wineries of the Stags Leap District are situated. Silverado Vineyards owns five other storied vineyards across Napa Valley’s top AVAs: Miller Ranch, Mt. George, Soda Creek Ranch (Borreo), Firetree, and Vineburg. All of Silverado’s wines are estate-grown, produced and bottled. Winemaker Jon Emmerich is only the second lead winemaker in the history of Silverado Vineyards and celebrated his 30th vintage with the winery in 2020. Jon has grown Silverado’s reputation for quality and consistency along with his colleague Elena Franceschi, who has been Silverado’s associate winemaker for nearly 25 years. When Diane Miller passed away in 2013, Ron Miller became president of the Board of Directors of The Walt Disney Family Museum, and chairman of Silverado Vineyards until his passing in 2019. Diane and Ron’s children and grandchildren proudly continue to carry their family’s legacy forward as the owners of Silverado Vineyards.
Known for elegant wines that combine power and finesse, Carneros is set in the rolling hills that straddle the southernmost parts of both Sonoma and Napa counties. The cooling winds from the abutting San Pablo Bay, combined with lots of midday California sunshine, create an ideal environment for producing wines with a perfect balance of crisp acidity and well-ripened fruit.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.