2014 Chardonnay, Los Carneros
The fruit for this Chardonnay was selected from two distinctive vineyards in the Los Carneros region—our family estate Brown Ranch on the Napa side of the appellation and one of our favorite family-farmed sites, Sangiacomo, Vella Vineyard further west in Sonoma. The cool-climate Sangiacomo, Vella Vineyard’s 100 acres were planted in 1997 in well-drained Zamora silty loam and Wright loam. From among the vineyard's 15 combinations of clones and rootstock, we selected the Old Wente clone fruit for its citrus character and bright acidity. From our Brown Ranch just off of Old Sonoma Road, we chose Dijon clone 95 for this appellation blend—the perfect complement to the Old Wente, delivering ample richness, concentrated flavors, and gorgeous aromatics.
Grown in Haire loam soils on 9% slopes, these vines were planted in 1992 on 3309 rootstock and configured with bilateral cordon and vertical shoot positioning yielding an average of 3.5 tons per acre. The cool breezes from the San Pablo Bay to our south allow this fruit to ripen slowly and achieve ideal phenolics.
The 2014 vintage endured the continuing drought along as well as the South Napa earthquake. Still, the ideal weather—dry and temperate with few heat spikes—made for hastened yet predictable growing events. Harvest was slightly earlier than usual with beautifully ripened fruit in both sites ready to pick in early September.
75% Sangiacomo, Vella Vineyard, Sonoma (Old Wente Clone)
25% Brown Ranch, Los Carneros, Napa (Dijon 95 Clone)