2008 St. Francis - Chardonnay Sonoma County
Rich with notes of citrus, melon and vanilla, this Chardonnay is a fresh expression of this hand-picked classic varietal. Over 65% of the grapes in this blend are Chardonnay grown in the cooler regions of the Russian River Valley appellation. This area is predominantly alluvial and makes up the benchland regions of the river. The cooling influence of early morning fogs off the Pacific Ocean and warm afternoons, slowly ripen the Chardonnay grown here, limiting the risk of over ripeness in the fruit. The balance of the Chardonnay for this blend is carefully chosen, fully ripened fruit selected from nearby vineyards in Sonoma Valley and the Carneros region. The grapes are 100% whole cluster pressed and fermented in different lots, then barrel aged for six months in French and American oak barrels prior blending. The barrels are lees stirred by hand during aging to achieve a rich, lush mouth-feel. The wine then undergoes 100% malolactic fermentation. The barrel component adds a toasty complexity to the finished wine, complimenting the fruit and pear aromas on the nose. Medium to full-bodied, this Chardonnay has ripe fruit flavors, crisp high acid in the mouth and a rich lingering finish.