Technical Information

Composition: 100% Chardonnay

Vineyard: Black Knight

AppellationSonoma Coast

Aging: 8 months

Barrels: 50% New French Oak

            50% Neutral French Oak

Alcohol: 13.9%

pH / TA: 3.44 / 5.3 g/L

Production: 63 Cases

2016 Chardonnay - Black Knight Vineyard

Vintage

2016 was a nearly ideal growing season in the North Coast of California. Winter and spring rains were extremely welcome after four years of drought and helped irrigate the parched soils. This was followed by a dry and relatively cool growing season that allowed the grapes to develop complex flavors while achieving a nice acidity. I sampled the vineyard several times per week throughout September until my desired flavors were reached. I selected the harvest date and joined the crew early in the morning on September 15th to help with picking and sorting the grapes.

 

Winemaking

Making white wine can actually be more challenging than red wine. White wine is more delicate, can easily be oxidized and will quickly lose many of its nuances and flavors if it is not handled gently. Our Chardonnay grape clusters were hand sorted and then immediately pressed. The juice was then transferred to French oak barrels for fermentation. The fermentation was done entirely by native and resident yeasts. A barrel fermentation of this type has several advantages. It is much slower and remains at lower temperatures, which allows the wine to retain more complex flavors. Also, the native yeasts can contribute some wonderful characteristics to the wine and further increase complexity. Finally, the mouth feel of a barrel-fermented chardonnay is superior to tank-fermented wines. The Fermentation completed in about one month and the wine was then aged in barrels for another seven months.

Awards

  • Gold Medal - 2019 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition

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