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Vineyard 7 and 8 Estate Chardonnay 2014

Chardonnay from Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
  • RP92
14.2% ABV
  • RP94
  • WS93
  • RP90
  • RP90
  • RP93
  • WS90
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14.2% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2014 Estate Chardonnay is the first wine crafted by Winemaker Martha McClellan and Wesley Steffens. A wine they both feel cariries on the 7 & 8 legacy of the traditional style Chardonnay crafted from the thirty-five year old vines on the estate. With a bright deep golden core, the nose offers aromatics of white peach, pink lady apple, chamomile tea with a hint of fresh wildflowers. On the palate the wine attacks with a rich, cream, seamless texture, marked by fresh minerality, lemon curd and key lime meringue. A lingering and memorable finish completes a wine of true distinction.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2014 Chardonnay Estate spent 16 months in barrel and goes through 100% malolactic, and it is sourced from one of the old Wente selections. This is an impressive Chardonnay aged in about 50% new oak and bottled with no fining or filtration. Crisp, elegant notes of tangerine oil, orange marmalade and white currants jump from the glass of this medium to full-bodied, fresh, lively Chardonnay that has zesty acids and impressive texture and length. This should drink nicely for 5-7 years.
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Vineyard 7 and 8

Vineyard 7 and 8

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Vineyard 7 and 8, Spring Mountain District, Napa Valley, California
After a measured and patient search for a vineyard property in the Napa Valley, the Steffens Family ended their quest when they acquired a forty-acre property atop Spring Mountain. Planted in the early 1980’s to eight acres of each Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, the property met the family’s stringent requirements to sustainably grow premium grapes allowing them to craft wines with a true sense of place.

Founded in 1999 and named after proprietor Launny Steffens’ life and background in the world of finance with a theme encompassed by numerics, and a keen interest in numerology — “seven” being a number of luck in western culture, while “eight” follows the meanings of prosperity and happiness in eastern culture — Vineyard 7 & 8 is the culmination of the family’s pursuit for producing fine wines including Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.

Spring Mountain District

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Above the town of St. Helena on the eastern slopes of the Mayacamas Mountains sits the Spring Mountain District.

A dynamic region, its vineyards, cut by numerous springs and streams, vary in elevation, slope and aspect. Soils differ throughout with over 20 distinct types inside of the 8,600 acres that define the appellation. Within that area, only about 1,000 are planted to vineyards. Predominantly farmed by small, independent producers, the region currently has just over 30 wineries.

During the growing season late afternoon Pacific Ocean breezes reach the Spring Mountain vineyards, which sit at between 400 and 1,200 feet. Daytime temperatures during mid summer and early fall remain slightly cooler than those of the valley floor.

Spring Mountain soils—volcanic matter and sedimentary rock—create intense but balanced reds with lush and delicate tannins. The area excels with Bordeaux varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot and in some cooler spots, Chardonnay.

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.

EPC34209_2014 Item# 165849