Pine Ridge was one of the first wineries to pair French Dijon clones with the cool Carneros terroir. Our estate vineyards in this fog-shrouded region enjoy a long growing season, allowing the development of intense tropical fruit and citrus flavors. The result is a California Chardonnay that is stylistically original, a perfect marriage of both French and California winemaking techniques.
In the glass, the color is a vibrant lemon yellow. Enticing aromas of citrus
blossoms, lemon thyme and cantaloupe are integrated with spicy pear, toasted oak and vanilla.
On the palate, this Chardonnay is both creamy and racy, bursting with flavors of tangerine,
lemon squares and, from clone 76, pears, nutmeg, vanilla and toast. The lingering finish
continues with oak spice and layers of citrus and ripe fruit.
Overcast mornings and cool afternoon breezes in Carneros typically contribute
to a slow and even rate of fruit maturity, leading to optimal balance to produce wines with
elegance and crisp acidity and an outstanding intensity of fruit flavors. Closely planted to
3.5-by-6-foot spacing with devigorating rootstock, our estate vineyards feature Chardonnay
Dijon clones 76 (origins in Saône-et-Loire), 95 and 96 (both origins in Côte d’Or).
Following several years of drought, February delivered
much-needed rain to the vines. Budbreak occurred early in 2015 due to warmer than normal
temperatures in late winter and early spring. Warm temperatures and abundant sunshine June
through October led to good growth the rest of the season, an early harvest, and very highquality,
balanced fruit. Our Chardonnay was hand-harvested at night then quickly sorted and
pressed in full cluster. The wine was fermented in 30 percent new French oak barrels, aged for
eight months sur lie and stirred occasionally to promote complexity. In order to preserve bright
acidity and citrus notes, malolactic fermentation was not allowed to occur.
Food Pairing Notes
The Dijon Clones Chardonnay will match perfectly with light and delicate foods such
as raw fish and cooked shellfish, a vegetable terrine or risotto with spring vegetables. It would
also pair well with creamy soups. For the cheese course, try it with Cabot Clothbound Cheddar,
whose tangy, savory and nutty, caramelized flavors will complement the bright Chardonnay.