We fermented and aged over a dozen different vineyard lots of Chardonnay from the 2019 vintage. Each lot of wine was produced with grapes harvested from different fields, from different clones within a single field, or from different pruning methods—cane versus cordon pruning—within the same field. Some vineyard lots were fermented in stainless steel tanks then aged in seasoned oak barrels, however the majority were barrel fermented in an equal mixture of new and one to four year old French barrels. There were two variations of the barrel fermented lots: one in which we racked the fermenting juice to barrels at the beginning of fermentation and the other in which we racked to barrel mid-fermentation. After selecting the lots of wine intended for our Première Reserve and Mendocino bottlings, we were delightfully surprised that there was enough leftover wine in these "primo" lots for our Table Wine needs. Combining these lots created a classy Anderson Valley Chardonnay Table Wine which simplified our blending decisions; the remaining 3,800 gallons of Chardonnay that didn't meet Navarro standards were sold off in bulk.
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Harvesting Chardonnay at night, September 26, 2019. The grapes for most of this bottling were grown in two Hammer Olsen vineyard blocks. A portion is from a vineyard we planted in 1983 to the "Robert Young" clone, prized for its mixture of big and little berries in the same cluster and the remainder is from a block planted in 2007 to ENTAV clone 95, a more modern selection with apple-citrus aromas and flavors. Harvesting Chardonnay at night, September 11, 2020.
85% of the wine in this bottling was produced from estate-grown grapes and the remainder was produced from our next-door neighbor, Valley Foothills Vineyards. Philo's signature of sunshiny, fresh aromas and flavors suggesting lemon and poached pear have mingled with discreet toasty, vanilla flavors from aging in French oak barrels.