2009 Chardonnay, Pastorale Vineyard
100% estate-grown Chardonnay from our Pastorale Vineyard
16 months in 65% new and 35% two- to three-year-old French oak barrels before bottling on April 11, 2011.
The grapes that went into this limited production wine came from the best block of Chardonnay planted at the Freestone estate. This block is planted to a mixture of heirloom selections, two of which went into this blend. One clone gives the wine its richness, while the other adds the leanness and freshness that is typical of the Pastorale Vineyard. The Chardonnay grapes were pressed cold to barrel after carefully selecting the best lees for long-term aging. The fermentation took place slowly over the course of approximately ten months, followed by an additional six months of aging once fermentation was complete. Barrels were stirred every two weeks yielding the rich, golden, nutty flavors that coat the palate. Crisp nectarine, hints of lemon zest, wet stone and dried white flower petals dominate the aroma profile. On the palate, one will find a mosaic of enticing flavors reminiscent of lemongrass, exotic fruits, toasted hazelnuts and roasted pear brûlée. This is an opulent and penetrating Chardonnay that, because of its tangy acidity, remains light on its feet and possesses the cool, fresh characteristics of a true Sonoma Coast wine. The finish is long and seamless, with both mineral firmness and zesty spice notes that carry through to the end.
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.