2016 Gap's Crown Chardonnay
Picked at night, and kept cold, the fruit was pressed as whole clusters. The juice was then settled for a day, then racked to a mere 3 barrels for fermentation. The fruit was so clean, I decided to let the fermentation go on its own. A “wild” ferment typically starts off slow, and takes more time to finish, helping to retain the delicate, nuanced aromatics. As the wine was going through malolactic fermentation, and throughout the aging process I hand stirred each barrel twice a week. This continual stirring up of the yeast cells adds layers and texture to the palate as the yeast cells break down. The end result is a Chardonnay that shows its roots. The aromatics are full of lemon custard, grilled pineapple, and toasted hazelnut. The roundness and breadth on the palate is beautifully balanced by the fresh acidity and lingering citrus notes… you can almost hear the ocean in your glass.
Gaps Crown Vineyard boasts steep hillsides, high density planting, rocky terrain, and immaculate farming, making winemakers clamor for access to its spectacular fruit. Gaps Crown sits at the northeastern end of the “Petaluma Gap”. This unique area holds ocean wind and fog from Tomales Bay and Bodega Bay. Funneling in during the evening, this fog gets trapped by the Sonoma Mountain hills, and lingers well into the following afternoon. This cool foggy climate makes for smaller yields, longer hang time, brighter acidity, and an intensity of flavor.