2009 Chardonnay, Freestone Vineyards
2009 was a great year for balance and concentration. This natively fermented wine possesses the characteristics we strive to capture each year, where modest yields, careful, intuitive farming practices and gentle, patient winemaking pay off. Our long, slow pressing regimes, extended barrel fermentations in lightly toasted barrels, and regular stirring allow the initially lean, crisp aromas and flavors to develop into a wine with richness and intensity on the palate. This wine was aged 15 months in 55% new and 45% two- to three-year-old French oak barrels before bottling on April 11, 2011.
This wine is a mix of the best selections from the estate plantings, including some heirloom selections that define its character and structure. The nose reveals aromas of toasted brioche, apricot pits, lemon oil, shaved almonds, flower petals and chamomile infused with honey. There is great concentration, weight and intensity in this Chardonnay with vibrant, focused flavors of honeysuckle, quince, orange blossom and a touch of apple skins to tempt the palate. This wine is full-bodied, has great length and has a tangy, citrus finish with tremendous precision and minerality.
The 2009 growing season was slow and cool, producing wines with impeccable balance. The year started with good rains lasting into the beginning of May. Budbreak was normal in mid-March and temperatures were moderate to cold throughout spring. Vines did not endure frost damage in 2009 and bloom took place between May 23 - June 8. Temperatures through August were quite normal, with cool nights and foggy days, helping the vines to mature and develop flavor, color and tannin slowly and evenly. Chardonnay veraison took place in mid to late August and once the warmer temperatures of September arrived, ripening kicked into high gear. At picking, the Chardonnay grapes possessed great acidity and concentration, with harvest finishing well before the mid-October rains.