2012 Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains  

This wine inherits its personality from two venerable vineyards — kindred spirits if you will — with 100-year histories of producing grapes, apples and persimmons. Intriguing fragrances of kiwi, pineapple, honey, juniper berry, and the faintest touch of smoke are the preamble to flavors of spicy apple, vanilla crème, and toasted oak. The wine has bright acidity, velvety texture, and a plush mouthfeel, but the extreme length of the tropical fruit finish challenges the existing paradigm.

Overview

A renowned wine region since the late 1800s, the Santa Cruz Mountains is one of the first AVA’s to be defined by geophysical and climatic factors. The east and west boundaries are defined by elevation: down to 800 and 400 feet in the east and west, respectively. The footprint lies mostly within Santa Cruz County, but it extends into parts of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.

In 2010, fruit was sourced from two neighboring, but contrasting vineyards in the Summit Road district near the heart of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Both are at 2,000 feet of elevation and 10 aerial miles from the coast.

Wright’s Station Vineyard occupies a dramatic setting near Summit Road above Los Gatos. Facing San Francisco Bay, the dry-farmed 1980 planting benefits from high elevations and deep sandy-loam soils. Vines thrive in this friendly environment to generate grapes with a wonderful mix of mid-palate viscosity and balanced acidity.

Skyland Vineyard is a one-acre, dry farmed 1999 planting on Skyland Ridge that lies within sight of Monterey Bay. Steeply terraced, it offers sandy-loam mountain soils and extended periods of sunlight from full southern exposure. The close proximity to the coast induces mild summer days and radical temperature plunges at sunset. These extremities are stressful to the vines, but they payoff in wines with complex aromas, deep flavors and bright acidity.

Vintage: 2012

Varietal:
Chardonnay

Appellation: Santa Cruz Mountains

Vineyards:
Wright's Station Vineyard, Skyland Vineyard

Harvest Date(s):
Oct 1-10, 2012

Barrel Aging: 11 mos

Cooperage: French oak BBLs (40% new)

Cases Produced: 348

Consume: 3-5 yrs

Release Date:
Jan 2014

Varietal Content:
100% chardonnay

pH: 3.50

Total Acidity:
0.54mg per 100ml

Finished Alcohol: 14.2%