2016 Poseidon Vineyard "Boon Fly's Hill” Chardonnay
A riot of ripe peach, cream soda and white blossom aromas are rounded out with notes of citrus peel and vanilla extract. Our reserve Chardonnay has a soft, velvety texture that comes from extended time in barrel. Flavors of toasted marshmallows, sweet golden apples and hints of candied lemon rind end with a warm, toasted oak finish with lingering hints of toffee and toasted almonds.
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.
The 2016 growing conditions were ideal in many ways. California received much-needed rains in the winter with an El Niño season. The parched earth finally received moisture needed to replenish lakes, rivers and ponds which ultimately ripen healthy crops. Better set conditions at flowering resulted in increased yield compared with the 2015 vintage, which was alarmingly low for many vineyards in Northern California. Cooler conditions throughout the summer slowed down the pace of growth, increasing hang-time, allowing the vines to focus on flavor development. The moderate autumn weather allowed for a measured pace in the cellar throughout the long harvest, making for easier logistics and a happy cellar crew.
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 and pressed whole-cluster, and the juice is 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 for 15 months before it is racked off clean for bottling, unfined and just lightly filtered.
Alex Beloz, Winemaker