Nestled on a northeastern facing hillside on our Pine Ridge Estate and protected by the shade of the pine trees lies a very special 1.7 acre block of Chardonnay vines. Since the early 1980’s, we have cultivated this intimate space to produce one of the only Chardonnays in the Stags Leap District.
Clear, brilliant gold in color, our 2014 Le Petit Clos Chardonnay
delights the nose with a vibrant bouquet of juicy Meyer lemon, sweet kiwi and white
peach, draped in layers of citrus blossom, poached pear and orange cream. The
crisp, bright palate enters with sweet lemon curd, lemon preserves and fresh starfruit,
followed by notes of nutmeg and vanilla graham cracker and leading into a clean
minerality that lasts through the luscious and refreshing finish.
Le Petit Clos, “the little enclosure,” is tucked away in a unique location
on our home estate. Sheltered from the heat in the shade of the iconic pine ridge,
plantings of both Burgundian Dijon and Corton Charlemagne clones of Chardonnay
thrive in this tiny block. These lower-yielding clones produce small, intensely flavored
clusters and berries.
2014 was a consistently temperate growing season
in Napa Valley, with moderate temperatures and minimal rain in September, allowing
even ripening and yielding exquisite, balanced fruit. Our Chardonnay was hand-harvested
at night at an optimal level of ripeness in early-September, then immediately pressed. The
wine was fermented in 65% new French oak barrels, aged for seven months sur lie, and
stirred occasionally to promote complexity. In order to preserve the true expression of this
unique vineyard, malolactic fermentation was not allowed to occur.
Food Pairing Notes
Refined and graceful, this Chardonnay will delight when enjoyed on its own
or as an apertif, but it would also show beautifully alongside lobster ravioli with beurre
blanc, or a simple scallop crudo. This wine would also make a delectable partner to a
triple cream French cheese, such as Brillat-Savarin.