Chardonnay Michael Mara Vineyard Sonoma Coast - 2015
The Michael Mara Vineyard is west of Sonoma, at the base of the Sonoma Mountains. Deposits in the soil result from a cataclysmic landslide that cascaded stone and volcanic soil onto one spot in the valley below. Surrounded by normal valley floor loam, the Michael Mara Vineyard sits on a unique lobe of rock and red earth.
Pickers harvest the fruit in two batches. They gather the first batch, which accounts for 80% of the wine, early to capture the high natural acidity and maintain wine balance and a moderate alcohol level. The second harvest, 20% of the wine, is done slightly later to capture the richness and power of the vineyard site. The fruit from each harvest is lightly whole-cluster-pressed, settled for 24 hours, then barrel fermented. The wine goes through 100% malolactic fermentation in older neutral barrels and a few new French oak barrels. It is given 18 months of barrel aging, with no topping or sulfur added until bottling. There is also no batonnage — the wine rests on the lees to age undisturbed.
The wine has the white peach, toasted almond or marshmallow, and ripe pear nose one expects with Chardonnay, as well as plenty of weight, length, and richness. It is not showy, however —its incredible opulence is natural, not created in the cellar.
- Sub-Region:Napa County
- Commune/Village:Napa Valley
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- Country:United States
- Harvest Technique:Hand harvested
- Winemaker Name:Steve Matthiasson