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2016 Chardonnay
  Barrel Fermented
  Anderson Valley, Mendocino
  (750 ml) - $27.00 Buy Now!
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This is our third vintage of this bottling, a wine we label as Barrel Fermented. To be honest, it receives the same fermentation regime as our Première Reserve bottling: the first half of fermentation in stainless steel tanks to control the temperature, the second half in French oak barrels where the wines warm up, finish fermentation and then rest sur lie for several months. But fearing customer confusion with a Chardonnay simply labeled as Anderson Valley, we added the Barrel Fermented designation to associate it with its closest sibling, the Première Reserve. There are two winemaking differences between the Première Reserve and the Barrel Fermented wine. The primary difference is that the Reserve is put through a secondary fermentation that converts malic acid into lactic acid; this fermentation was completely avoided in the Barrel Fermented wine.

We harvest at night because destemming cold fruit reduces the chance of adding harsh phenolics from the grape skins. [right] Members of the winery crew come to work at 4 AM and begin processing the grapes, freeing up the winery presses for the rest of the day's work.
Jose shoot-positioning Chardonnay vines in Navarro's Hammer Olsen vineyard. [below] The shoots are trained vertically, but at an outward angle, so that the clusters are protected from the midday sun. Grapes for this bottling were harvested a smidgen riper than the grapes for the Première Reserve.


The malolactic fermentation reduces the fruit a little while making the acidity softer and creamier as in the Reserve wine. Malic acid is associated with green apples; this bottling, which only underwent a primary fermentation, is tart with an apple-like character. For this bottling the wine was fermented and aged in one-third new barrels, a bit more than the 2016 Reserve which was fermented in one-quarter newly purchased oak. The slightly higher level of oak flavors is perfectly counterbalanced with increased fruit and acidity. If you want a crisp, full-bodied white wine to complement Petrale sole or lobster risotto, this would be an ideal choice. Gold Medal winner. Best of Class.

Specifications
Harvested: Sept. 19, 2016 Sugars at harvest: 24.0 Brix
Bottled: June 16, 2017 Cases produced: 226
Alcohol: 13.9% Titratable acidity: 7.5 g/L
pH: 3.34

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