Geyser Peak Chardonnay 2018
The color is pale straw with light yellow hues. The nose shows ripe peach with lemon, hazelnut and vanilla, typical of the Geyser Peak style. These are complemented by subtle nuances of toasted barrel, buttery malolactic and vanillin characters. The palate shows a bright and balanced mix of stone fruit, Crème Brulee, and toffee that round out a delicate finish. Fruity, floral, and delicately toasty, our Chardonnay is versatile in food pairings and appropriate for serving in all seasons.
Following a long growing season, characterized by moderate temperatures throughout the spring and summer, California's 2018 harvest played out like a dream. The harvest began about two weeks later than previous years, but was more in line with normal timing in the years before the drought. The vintage shows exceptional quality, thanks to consistent growing conditions and cooler temperatures, which allowed the grapes to mature slowly.
Our vineyard sources are planted to multiple clones of Chardonnay which provide us with layered blending options for complexity. In particular, the Dijon clones add lovely floral notes to the wine while the Rued clone displays juicy fruit with a spicy clove-like back note. Chardonnay often produces what we call ‘hens and chicks’ or ‘peas and pumpkins’ which are terms for a combination of very small as well as very large berries on the same bunch. Our Chardonnay clusters are small (about the size of a clenched fist) and the berries are tightly packed so the juice yield per cluster is rather small.
The plush mouth-feel of Chardonnay makes it a pleasure to sip on its own or pair with lighter dishes. In crafting this wine we look to incorporate elegant oak aromas and flavors as well as a touch of creaminess to the palate. Monthly lees stirring builds mouth-feel and texture to add dimension and partial malolactic fermentation helps round out the palate and balance the creamy finish. Diverse fruit sources and the use of French Oak enhance the floral aromatics and give structure to the palate without contributing excessive weight.
Pairs well with lemon and rosemary chicken, spicy dishes, seared halibut, Fettuccine Alfredo, and softer cheeses like Brie or Camembert.