2008 Chardonnay, Freestone Vineyards
100% estate-grown Sonoma Coast Chardonnay from Freestone Vineyards.
Our 2008 Chardonnay reveals the purest expression of Freestone terroir that we have captured with this varietal to date. The first dip of the nose into the glass reveals aromas of orange blossom, lemongrass, savory herbs and white flowers. The subtle oak nuances lend an appealing sweetness to the delicate bouquet. Lean and focused, with richness and depth on the palate, this wine has a lot of verve. It is dense yet also has great intensity with a complex mineral-like finish and mouthwatering acidity; a lovely balance between power and finesse.
The 2008 vintage was a dry year overall and continued the streak of above-normal temperatures and below normal precipitation. Despite the dry conditions, there was good berry set in both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, producing a substantial crop of balanced and flavorful fruit.
Because of severe frost in late March/early April, Freestone lost ~50% of estate Chardonnay. On the other hand, because of close proximity to the coast, it was unaffected by the major fires that broke out during the peak growing season, so all the wines are fresh, lively and free of any signs of smoke taint. The early part of the growing season was warm and steady, allowing for fairly even ripening in both varietals.
Beginning on September 1st a strong heat wave came through and began to dehydrate the delicate Pinot Noir grapes. Though the Chardonnay held up well under this pressure, the biggest challenge of the vintage was to harvest all of the most susceptible Pinot Noir blocks before temperatures soared above 100°F; therefore, the focus was on Pinot Noir, with all fruit harvested between September 3rd and September 27th. The Chardonnay harvest began with the warmer Russian River Bacigalupi vineyard on September 2nd, followed by Dutton Ranch on September 10th. The bulk of estate Chardonnay came in slowly between September 11th and October 1st.
Though the latter part of the growing season was unusually warm, the wines are quite vibrant, balanced and aromatic, and are a great follow-up to the highly successful 2007 vintage.