From the Pahlmeyer Waters Ranch Vineyard. At 1,800 feet elevation, the Chardonnay fruit sits above the valley fog, soaking in direct sunlight, yet cooled by delta breezes. The result is small berries that drive intense, concentrated flavours balanced with superb acidity and structure. Hand picked at night in late September, hand sorted, then gravity fed into the bladder press. Left to settle for 24 hours at 50 degrees, then racked into 100% French oak barrels to begin native-yeast fermentation. Each barrel was monitored daily, stirred only as needed to stimulate the process. Racked again at completion of malolactic fermentation. The Chardonnay was returned to barrel, 90% new Francois Freres French oak, primarily Vosges very special grain, for another 11 months. It was neither fined, nor filtered before bottling. Opens with aromas of bright citrus zest, fleshy crane melon and notes of graham cracker. The unctuous mouth feel leads with an elegant restraint and swath of slate that crescendo with flavours of fresh cider apples, juicy lychee and warming cardamom. The intense and silky finish lingers with spicy, earthy notes of white lily and lightly toasted almond.
“Pahlmeyer’s 2013 Chardonnay is deep, rich and textured, with considerable phenolic weight and intensity. Just bottled, the 2013 is tightly wound at this stage, but it is nevertheless impressive. Hints of lemon peel, butter and tropical fruit meld into the rich, textured finish.” 93+ points - Antonio Galloni, Vinous, December 2014
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