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.
Overcast mornings and cool afternoon breezes contribute to a slow and even rate of fruit maturity, leading to an optimal balance of sugar and acid and an outstanding intensity of fruit flavors. Closely planted to 3.5’x 6’ spacing with devigorating rootstock, our Carneros estate vineyards feature Dijon Chardonnay clones 76, 95 and 96.
Harvest & Winemaking
The mild 2011 vintage allowed for a long hang time, resulting in evenly ripe, complex flavors in the berries. Our Chardonnay was harvested at an optimal level of ripeness in early October. The fruit was hand-harvested at night and quickly sorted and pressed in full cluster. The wine was fermented in 40% new French oak barrels, aged for six 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.
Radiant and golden, our Dijon Clones Chardonnay sings from the glass with aromas of fresh yellow apple, crisp white peach and lemon crème brûlée that mingle with soft impressions of ground nutmeg spice and subtle citrus blossom. The rich, round palate opens with notes of ripe pineapple, fresh nectarine and sweet yellow pear, balanced by crisp acidity and touches of cinnamon toast and apple pie crust on the clean, lasting finish.
Delightfully well-rounded, this beautiful Chardonnay would partner perfectly with a seafood dish, such as Cold Water Lobster Tails or Jumbo Shrimp and chickpea salad, although it is versatile enough to also pair alongside poultry, or Boneless Hickory Smoked Ham from our friends at Kansas City Steaks. This wine is also well-suited to match Bûcheron, a French goats’s milk cheese.