2014 Bald Mountain Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains
Our Santa Cruz Mountains Reserve Chardonnay originates in the steep hillsidevineyards of Bald Mountain, farmed by the Beauregard family. The cool coastal climate and high elevation consistently define this wine with crisp acidity and an underlying minerality. The vineyard's unique microclimate, coupled with a long growing season produce the distinct elements that give this wine an approachable elegance, with thepropensity to age gracefully.
The 2014 vintage was challenging due to drought, but produced amazing fruit with lower yields than the previous harvests. An ideal growing season with moderate temperatures and weather conditions throughout allowed the vines to stay healthy and maintain concentrated flavors and exceptional quality in the smaller clusters and lower yields.
Although it often requires devoted patience in waiting for our Santa Cruz grapes to reach ideal ripeness, the reward is always tremendous. We press these grapes whole cluster, and separate the juice into small batches based on the amount of pressure used, to begin the culling process from the very first step. It is then racked into 40% new French Oak barrels and inoculated with a specific yeast and malolactic strain, which encourage a slow fermentation to maximize the floral and delicate tropical aromas. The lees are stirred bi-weekly during its 12 months of aging to enhance complexity.
A sophisticated wine with bright, tropical Key lime zest, creamy lemon meringue, juicy golden apples, and Asian pears layered on a decadent base of crème brulee and hints of vanilla pudding. It has a clean but broad palate that is honed nicely by its definitive minerality. Smooth and supple on the front and mid-palate, with bright acids along the sides and finish.