2014 Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains
A tropical, fruit-like bouquet invites you to experience aromas of pineapple, tangerine, and hints of wet stone. The lush mouthfeel is velvety in texture and reminiscent of citrus, vanilla cream, and toasted hazelnuts. Enjoy the memorable play between crisp acidity and opulent fruit in this lively wine.
- Hand harvested September 3-19, 2014 in the morning cool
- Whole-cluster pressed at low pressure to minimize astringency
- 100% barrel fermented in French oak barrels (35% new)
- Aged for eleven months on the lees to enrich mouthfeel
- Lightly filtered before bottling to brighten aromas and polish mouthfeel
George Troquato, Winemaker
Alejandro Aldama, Cellar Master
In 2014, eighty percent of our Santa Cruz Chardonnay grapes were harvested from Sunny Acres Vineyard. Nestled in a quaint valley dotted with oak and pine trees in the town of Scotts Valley at 400 ft elevation lies the Sunny Acres Vineyard. This 4-acre, cane pruned Chardonnay vineyard was planted in 1985 on 5C rootstock utilizing clone 4 bud wood on a 6 X 12 spacing. Situated 4 miles from the Pacific Ocean, this site enjoys a cooling effect along with abundant fog making the site perfect for growing grapes with great acidity and depth of flavors. Each morning in the spring, fog gently rolls in completely encompassing the vineyard lasting until early afternoon when the sun finally peaks through.
Skyland Vineyard is a 1-acre, dry farmed 1999 planting on Skyland Ridge that lies within sight of Monterey Bay. Twenty percent of the grapes were harvested from here. 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.
A renowned wine region since the late 1800s, the Santa Cruz Mountains is one of the first AVAs 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 early 2014, most California winemakers fretted over the possibility of a third consecutive drought year, but ultimately celebrated an outstanding vintage. January brought dry, seasonable temperatures and February saw one storm but the relief was short-lived. Budbreak in March was up to three weeks early while a cool April throttled growth. Bloom in May and berry set in June were favorable as conditions remained warm, clear, and accelerated. Veraison, the onset of ripening, occurred in mid-July; early August was quite warm, but a return to cooler temperatures slowed development and allowed the formation of deep colors and flavors. The early harvest had average-sized yields, but the consistent weather produced stellar wines despite the drought.