Chardonnay Napa Valley, Robert Mondavi 2017
Classically styled Chardonnay has a rich creamy palate of baked apples, poached pears and pineapples. Balanced and elegant with threads of baking spice and citrus. The majority of the wine is aged in French oak, lending a toasty creamy note to the finish.
The velvety texture of our Napa Valley Chardonnay sends ribbons of juicy peach, toasted pear, rich guava, roasted pineapple, lemon peel, and hazelnut flavors across the palate into a long, mouthwatering finish; its fruity-toasty complexity lingering luxuriously after each sip.
This classic Napa Valley blend brings together the best AVAs for Chardonnay. The blend is dominated by fruit from the cooler regions in the southern end of the valley, where bay fog and breezes allow the grapes to ripen at a gradual, flavor-building pace while retaining refreshing, natural acidity. A small amount of fruit from our Wappo Hill vineyard, in the Stag's Leap District, adds just the right touch of opulence to the blend, with other excellent Chardonnay vineyards giving their textures and tastes to the final wine.
The 2017 harvest started early following a summer of heat spikes and a growing season that began with significant rain, ending a five-year drought. While the heat waves were a concern, retained water in the quenched soils helped us maintain vigorous vines and plump, juicy clusters of fruit through the growing season. A series of wildfires at the beginning of October made international headlines, but the early harvest ensured the majority of our grapes were picked and already processed in the cellar before the fires began. The grapes for our Napa Valley Chardonnay were picked between August 30th and October 7th.
The grapes were harvested in the cool of the morning and gently pressed as whole clusters to conserve the vibrant, fruity flavors. Eighty percent (80%) of the juice was fermented in French oak barrels (21% new) and the balance was cold fermented in stainless-steel tanks to retain brightness and purity of fruit. Partial malolactic fermentation balanced the lively acidity and added complexity. Each lot was aged on the yeast lees (sûr lie) and was hand-stirred regularly (bâtonnage) throughout eleven (11) months of aging for seamless integration of flavors and a rich, creamy finish. The wine was bottled in November of 2018.