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.
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.
HARVEST AND WINEMAKING
With consistently mild temperatures throughout spring and summer, 2012 was a stellar vintage in Napa Valley, allowing slow, even ripening and yielding exquisite, balanced fruit. Our Chardonnay was harvested at an optimal level of ripeness in mid-September. The fruit was hand-harvested at night and 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.
Presenting a luminous pale gold hue in the glass, our 2012 Le Petit Clos Chardonnay delights the nose with a brilliant bouquet of juicy Meyer lemon and ripe white nectarine fruit, draped in layers of sweet orange blossom, spun sugar and English toffee. The crisp palate is luscious, supported by bright acidity and bursting with fresh pomelo and candied pear flavors that yield to hints of crème caramel, cinnamon sugar and subtle minerality on the elegant and refershing finish.
Refined and graceful, this Chardonnay will delight when enjoyed on its own or as an apertif, but it would also show gorgeously alongside raw oysters on the half shell and a simple mignonette, or a creamy lobster bisque. This wine would make a fine partner for creamy Camembert as an unforgettable cheese course.