Santa Rita Hills
2011 Lafond Vineyard Chardonnay
The Santa Rita Hills is a small appellation at the western end of the Santa Ynez Valley that has gained national recognition for its Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah.
The Valley runs west to east permitting the late afternoon ocean fog to roll into the Santa Rita Hills, where it lingers until early morning. The surrounding hills trap the fog before it is dissipated in the wider Santa Ynez Valley.
In the spring when frost is our biggest concern a layer of fog over the vineyard can provide protection. In the summer the fog moderates the normally warm days of the valley, cooling the grapes at night. Warm days and cool nights are essential for the making of fine Chardonnay.
The grapes, which are picked at night, are pressed as whole clusters, stems and all, the stems create channels for the juice to escape, otherwise, the skins would quickly block the openings.The juice is then fermented in barrels.
After fermentation the wine is left on its 'lies', a combination of yeast cells and sediment, periodically stirred, allowed to go through malolactic fermention, racked and bottled almost a year later. The oak barrels, the yeast cells, the sediment all add complexity to the wine.
Winemaker Comments: 10 of the barrels are from our Old Vine Wente Clone Chardonnay. Planted in 1976 the block's production has declined and yields have averaged .7 tons per acre. The vines continue to produce the most concentrated intense wine in our vineyard. This year we have added 2 barrels from one of our most promising newer blocks.
Best Chardonnay, 2014 Finger Lakes Int. Wine Comp.
Gold Medal 2015 San Diego International Wine Competition
Gold Medal 2015 Veritage Miami Wine Competition
Suggested Retail Price: 40.00
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Dates: Oct. 18, 2011
Sugar: 24.4 Brix
100% Lafond Vineyard
Santa Rita Hills
100% barrel fermented
12 French Oak Barrels
33% new oak
'Sur lie' 9 months
with regular 'batonnage'
Total Acid: .65
Production: 294 Cases
Date Bottled: Aug. 1, 2012