This elegant chardonnay expresses the tropical components inherent to an upbringing in lower Monterey County where the days are warm and the evenings cool. The nose consists of apple blossom, citrus and tropical fruit followed by flavors of banana, pineapple, vanilla and minerals. Smooth and velvety to the touch, it finishes long and clean with lemon zest, green apple and a hint of toasted oak. Age for two years.
The Monterey AVA is the largest wine region within Monterey County, stretching almost the entire length of the county, from east of Monterey Bay to just north of Paso Robles, and offering a range of favorable soil and climate combinations.
Monterey Bay’s deep, frigid waters provide the dynamics for generating a mild climate in most parts of Monterey County that gradually warms with increased distance from the coast. Driven by stiff winds, the cold air masses above the bay move inland each afternoon to begin an overnight cooling cycle that lasts until mid-morning. Grapes fully ripen under extended periods of sunlight, but they retain ideal acidity with the help of low overnight temperatures and intermittent patterns of morning fog.
Grapes were sourced from three plantings owned by Scheid Vineyards near the center of the Monterey AVA. Viento Vineyard is situated west of Greenfield on a slight east-facing slope in well-drained calcareous shale soils. Elm Vineyard lies just west of Greenfield in silty-loam alluvial soils deposited by the Arroyo Seco River. With well-drained sandy loam soils, the gently sloped San Lucas Vineyard is a large planting about 12 miles south of King City in the San Lucas AVA, a sub-appellation of the Monterey AVA. Combining fruit from these vineyards produces a chardonnay with bright acidity and distinct aromas and flavors.
Vintage 2011 began with a series of January storms followed by occasional warmth and rain through mid-March. An April freeze damaged the primary buds of early ripening varieties along most of the Central Coast. April and parts of May were exceptionally cool and damp in many areas while rain plummeted the North Coast in early June. Temperatures were mild with a few heat spikes in July and August, but veraison was uniformly delayed because of the spring frost and cool summer. We harvested before or after untimely storms in September and October, but the vintage was saved by what initially jeopardized it: the frost and rain reduced crop size, allowing the remaining fruit to reach physiological maturity despite the cool summer.