2017 Poseidon Vineyard "The Bench"
This straw-colored wine bursts with aromatics of Meyer lemon, gardenia and tuberose. With a little more time in the glass, a waft of lemon curd and lime oil drift up with soft hints of baking spice. While smooth on the entry, the wine maintains a bright acidity similar to that of freshly squeezed lemons. A light creaminess coats the mid-palate and finishes with tones of toasted baguette and crushed graham crackers.
The maritime environment of the Carneros grape-growing region delivers cool, foggy mornings followed by warm days that slowly nurture ripening. This seaside influence is particularly acute at our Poseidon Vineyard; one can see the masts of boats bobbing in the water just a few steps to the south. The prominent feature of our vineyard is the gravelly, geological “Bench”—the elevated, rocky, former riverbank of the Carneros Creek—that runs serpentine through the center of the site. From this unique geological feature spring some of our most distinct, small-production wines.
The year began with abundant rainfall. Spring weather was mild, resulting in extended flowering; vines were vigorous thanks to the winter rains. Three heat events, including one over Labor Day weekend, kicked harvest into high gear—but cool weather arrived immediately afterward, allowing sugar levels to return to normal.
The fruit was pressed whole cluster in small batches and then barrel fermented in new, 300 litre barrels that were lightly toasted specifically for this wine. These special, larger format barrels provided all the good things that barrel fermentation brings to Chardonnay: full body and sweeter flavors. The unique low toast of the barrels ensured that the fruit aromas and flavors would shine through. A special yeast strain was used to promote a long fermentation, adding a new level of complexity to this wine. Lees stirring after Malolactic fermentation was employed to boost the smooth, elegant texture.
Alex Beloz, Winemaker