2013 Poseidon Vineyard "Boon Fly's Hill" Chardonnay
Brilliant in color with a golden straw hue, this vintage of "Boon Fly's Hill" is exotic and hedonistic in aroma. Quince and lychee dance from the glass with aromas of white peach and Mirabelle plum. The wine is viscous on the palate but then lifts high off the tongue with crisp acidity. Interesting savory notes add complexity to the flavors with hints of the flowers of thyme, lavender and basil. Though aged in 100% heavy-toast Kádár barrels, the oak contribution to this wine is subtle and well-integrated, keeping the wine full and slightly spicy on the finish.
At our Poseidon Vineyard, originally planted in 1973, the maritime influence of the Carneros grape-growing season delivers cool, foggy mornings followed by warm days; ripening is nurtured slowly. Rising at the southernmost edge of the vineyard is the small, gravelly “Boon Fly’s Hill” that overlooks the Napa Valley Marina; boats bob in the water just a few steps away. Boon Fly was a colorful character from the early days of the settlement of Carneros; legend has it that he is buried somewhere on this hill. This two-acre block of vines consistently produces our most elegant and distinguished Chardonnay, and we honor that distinctiveness—and Boon Fly himself—with this reserve bottling.
2013 was a “surprisingly mild” vintage. We enjoyed moderate conditions throughout the growing season, with few heat spikes and no rain. The warm and dry conditions of the summer were perfect for supplying a healthy crop of Chardonnay that was ripe and ready in the first half of September. Really, it was one of the easiest farming years in memory.
The crest of Boon Fly’s Hill ripens earlier than the rest of our Chardonnay blocks, a result of the naturally lower crop that sets in this sandy, gravel-rich soil. Clusters are smaller here, and so are the berries themselves. Because the vines are more exposed at the crest, the sun-kissed fruit develops the ripe, rich flavors that make this wine so opulent. Fruit is picked at dawn, pressed whole cluster and the juice immediately placed into new Kádár Heavy Toast barrels. The barrels are quickly placed into a cold room where long, drawn-out primary and secondary fermentations allow for the lees to contribute creamy flavors to the wine. After this initial active period, the wine sits untouched before it is racked off clean for bottling, unfined and unfiltered.
Alex Beloz, Winemaker