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.
In the glass this single vineyard Chardonnay shows a pale straw color tinged with an emerald rim. The exotic nose features lemongrass, wet stone, butterscotch, and pine needle. The palate offers unexpected richness, and viscosity with beautiful pit fruit, baked pear, and notes of honey. The finish is long and layered with a balanced tension in harmony with the mouth- watering acidity. Proper cellar aging, if you can resist opening, will be rewarded in 2-3 years. 158 cases produced, available only at the winery.
This particular block, #502, sits at the summit of the vineyard and features primarily a Western exposure although it is angled slightly to the North. The slope is steep and the breeze is nearly constant which helps to delay the ripening for added flavor. We harvested 1.5 tons of beautiful grapes, slightly bronzed by the sun, on the twenty first of September.
Fermentation was done in a concrete egg tank, along with traditional small barrique cooperage. We chose barrels from Sirugue and used just one new 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. Malo-lactic fermentation was not inhibited, and it progressed to a little over half of completion which rounded the edge off of the acidity making it approachable but still fresh.