Just around the corner from our Pompadour vineyard is a ranch belonging to Ron Palmer. Ron planted Wente clone Chardonnay in 1983 and the fruit is as good now as it was then. So good in fact, that when André Tschelistcheff purchased the grapes back in the late 80’s he declared them his best Chardonnay. We are proud to make a wine with grapes from Ron’s historic and pedigreed site.
There is purity to this wine that asserts itself as the first delicate notes rise from the glass. Citrus elements in the theme of lemon chiffon, along with the delicate fragrance of honeysuckle and spring flowers. The palate offers a sense of minerality with river rock and notes of pea shoots and grilled pineapple.
The 2019 growing season started with saturated soils thanks to abundant winter and spring rains. Cooler weather throughout the summer meant plenty of time for flavors and aromatics to develop, and an early heat spike in August helped push the ample crop of grapes to full maturity, with a harvest date of August 15th. September weather cooled a bit for a more leisurely harvest of our Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The wines that resulted are classic in their finesse and balance.
Fermentation was conducted in a range of vessels, mostly neutral oak with just a touch of new, steam bent, French Oak (25%) to support but not overwhelm the fruit. A concrete Egg was utilized on half of the volume to impart creaminess. Malo-Lactic fermentation was inhibited to preserve the bright acidity which is this wine’s hallmark. Respectful treatment in the cellar allows the varietal character of old vine Chardonnay to enjoy the spotlight.
Food Pairing Notes
The bright acidity of this wine is a great match for risotto with fresh herbs, or grilled oysters with lemon, dishes that provide a creamy and bright counterpoint to this balanced and classic Chardonnay.