2015 The Drawing Board Estate Chardonnay $32/bottle ~ Sold in increments of 3
The Vintage: In 2015, the harvest was down significantly on the vineyard. Likely, the 3rd year of drought effected the vines' production. The winter was mild and dry and bud break came a few weeks early, and so, in turn, did harvest.The clusters and berries were smaller, giving the juice more color and texture from the extra skin contact. Like a Drawing Board, these young vines continue to develop and produce juice with more and more complexity. Planted to Riparia rootstock and farmed organically, largely by hand with the same care as the rest of the vineyard, the quality of the fruit was outstanding.
The fruit comes from the younger vines on the vineyard, represented by multiple blocks (from clones 4, 15 & 76) and planted on Sorrento loam soils with varying degrees of shale, river cobble, silty clay and limestone.The fruit coming off the Santa Ynez riverbed site continues to showcase high minerality and acidity, giving it a true sense of place.
336 cases ~ harvested early August 2015
Farming ~ Organic
The site: Organically farmed on the cool climate banks of the Santa Ynez River, the vines get a generous blanket of fog each night which allows the grapes to ripen slowly, keeping a nice acidity to balance the wine. The vines struggle to push through rocky, silty soil, so there is the signature minerality which is balanced and layered with floral, honey and citrus-fruit notes.
Tasting Notes: On the palate, the fruit is bright, fresh & crisp with high grapefruit tones, which balances the natural salinity from the influence of the Pacific Ocean. Wenzlau Chardonnay always has a distinct texture and roundness while still maintaining its freshness, energy, tension & focus — a combination few vineyards in the area can achieve. The 2015 is a great vintage for chardonnay, with increased brightness and minerality.
Winemaking: Whole clusters were pressed to stainless steel tank, settled, racked to a 2nd tank. Once active, the fermenting juice was transferred to 10% new French Oak, 90% neutral barrels for 15 months, on the lees the whole time and went through full malo. They were racked to stainless steel tank for 3 months before bottling in February, 2017 and resting this past year. There was no acidification or chaptalization.
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