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2015 Chardonnay ~ Santa Lucia Highlands
Tasting Notes

2015 Chardonnay ~ Santa Lucia Highlands

A top-notch Chardonnay can be one of life’s great pleasures and the Monterey appellation has developed a world-renowned reputation for producing spectacular examples. The cool coastal climate, with morning fog that often lingers until midday, allows the intricate fruit flavors to develop while preserving crucial acidity. Our Chardonnay Reserve program was developed to produce a rich wine that showcases the distinctiveness of the Monterey growing region. This hand-harvested, small-batch Chardonnay hails from the Santa Lucia Highlands, where the cool climate results in complex, intense wines. Barrel fermentation in small, medium-toast French oak and partial malolactic fermentation bring a richness and depth to the blend, which is elegantly balanced with dramatic tropical fruit flavors. Aromas of nutmeg and vanilla tie the wine together in a medium body with a lush, lingering finish.

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/ Case of 12
Marine-influenced mornings and afternoon breezes coming off Monterey Bay are the foundation for Santa Lucia Highlands wines. The Escolle Road Vineyard is located on a northern elevated bench of the AVA. The ancient, glacial alluvial soils pair with the morning fog and afternoon winds to create a true Region I climate, perfect for Burgundian grapes. The loose, nutrient-depleted foundation makes vines struggle to produce wonderfully complex fruit flavors with vibrant acidity. The 2015 growing season delivered another stellar vintage in terms of quality although yields were down in almost all of our vineyards. Despite a lighter crop from one of the earliest seasons on record and a fourth year of drought, quality was high across the board. A mild winter caused early bud break and was followed by protracted bloom and cool, cloudy weather in May—impacting berry set and contributing to smaller grape clusters and crop size. The silver lining to the lower yield was the exceptional quality, with vivid, intense flavors.
Upon arrival at the winery, the hand-picked grapes were gently whole-cluster pressed, chilled and racked clean to a refrigerated stainless steel tank. The juice was inoculated with select strains of yeast and slowly fermented cool to enhance the floral and varietal aromatics. Part of the blend was racked clean to barrels and fermented at a higher temperature to extract more oak tannins from the barrels. This adds roundness and mouthfeel to the wine. After fermentation, the wine was racked to 100% French oak barrels for aging.
Escolle Road Vineyard
Harvest Date
September 11, 2015
Harvest Brix
Santa Lucia Highlands
Alcohol %
100% French oak, 22 months
Cases Produced
Bottling Date
August 30, 2017