Nestled on a northeastern facing hillside on our Pine Ridge estate vineyard and protected by the shade of the pine trees lies a very special 1.7-acre block of Chardonnay vines. Since the early 1980s, we have cultivated this intimate space to produce one of the few Chardonnays in the Stags Leap District.
Attractive hay color leads to pretty aromas of melon, pear, stone fruit
and lemon zest layered with clove spice and toasty oak. Generous juicy flavors mimic the
aromas with the addition of a lean mineral component. The moderate temperature of this site
produces Chardonnay with excellent acidity, giving vibrancy combined with a soft dreamy
texture. This delicious wine culminates with a spicy, sweet-tart and mineral wet-stone 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, welldrained
sloped block. These lower-yielding clones produce small, intensely flavored clusters
and berries with an excellent balance of ripeness and acidity.
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
high-quality, 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
Dishes that are slightly rich can be paired with our Le Petit Clos Chardonnay, such
as salmon cakes, buttery chicken makhani, Caesar salad or mac and cheese. Or pair with your
favorite brie or triple-cream cheese, such as Mt. Tam from the local Cowgirl Creamery.