This level of quality is fleeting and very hard to execute in both the vineyard and winery. It can only be found under the right vintage conditions and with a level of winegrowing sensitivity that strikes an equilibrium between nature and craftsmanship. Bold words, I know, but the proof 's in this bottle. At fourteen years old, these vines have reached full maturity; they're in their prime window of quality production. They have achieved a natural balance between root depth, canopy growth and crop yield-the essentials of pristine grapes. In this 2017 bottling, we see as pure a reflection of these upland, highly erodible sandstone soils as I can imagine-a combination of delicacy, power, savory complexity and nervy acidity. The wine opens with spearmint, melon, lime and flint notes. It's tangy, dynamic and ever-changing, the palate uncompromisingly dry, mineral and chiseled-refined and totally captivating. The wine turns dense and full in the center as it uncoils, revealing oiliness and great viscosity. A firmness to the back end is driven by high natural acidity, strong savory elements and lime zest freshness. This is a wine to age for two to three years before opening. It will be worth the wait. These lean soils-perfect for our old chardonnay vine selections (no simple monochromatic clones!)-produce a wine of structure, underlying power and taut density. The wine is tactile with a high level of intricacy. Changing each time you return to the glass, it is the definition of power and tension.
The 2017 Chardonnay Estate Vineyard was barrel fermented and aged 12 months on the lees in 33% new oak. It has a singular nose of dashi, saline, crushed shell and lime peel touches with white peaches, dried flowers, iodine and cut hay. Medium-bodied, it absolutely explodes in the mouth with layers of ripe fruits, savory notions, citrus, flowers and a tangy mineral streak, with laser-like acidity and a very long, evolving and energetic finish. An incredible, unique wine. 740 cases produced.
The 2017 Chardonnay DuMol Estate comes from vines planted in sandy soils and is a mix of Hyde Wente and Mount Eden clones. It offers rock star notes of tart peach, citrus, and salty mineral and earthy notes in a focused, chiseled, crisp style. With terrific concentration and an almost red wine-like level of structure, it's not for near-term drinking and needs a good 3-4 years of bottle age.
The 2017 Chardonnay Estate Vineyard is a dense, packed wine. Apricot, orange peel, mint, butter and exotic floral notes emerge, but only with great reluctance. Readers will need to give the 2017 at least a year or two in bottle to unwind. This is an especially potent, savory style, with a ton of phenolic intensity.