We purchased the Tula Vista Ranch on Ramal Road in July of 2012. Our full development started the following spring when the grapes for this wine were planted. Clone 17 is a recent incarnation of the vaunted “Wente” clone, and we are big fans of this Chardonnay for both still and Sparkling wines. Only 66 cases produced, available only at the winery.
In the glass this single vineyard Chardonnay shows a pale straw color tinged with an emerald glow. This wine has a personality that is not often encountered; it is both tropical but also exhibits traits of a much leaner wine. For example, while the nose oﬀers lychee and pineapple, it is also ﬂinty, with mineral inﬂected notes, and river rock. The palate buzzes with key lime pie, lemongrass, and lime zest. An intriguing wine for the ﬁrst vintage
This block, #501, sits at the summit of the vineyard and features primarily a Western exposure. The slope is steep and the breeze is nearly constant, which helps to delay the ripening for added ﬂavor. The moderate vigor of the rootstock, 110R, also helps to put the brakes on maturation. We harvested 1.6 tons of beautiful grapes, slightly bronzed by the sun, on the ﬁrst of September.
The inaugural grapes yielded just three barrels worth of precious juice. We chose the Sirugue Cooperage and used just one new barrel and two second-ﬁlls. Upon completion of fermentation the young wine was gently stirred to promote contact with the yeast lees and create a creamy texture. Malolactic fermentation was inhibited