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2015 Miljenko's Selection Chardonnay
The Wine: We relied on indigenous yeast to ferment the juice in 900-gallon French oak casks that were temperature controlled for a slow fermentation to retain all of the grapes' delicate aromas. The wine was aged 11 months in the same casks, adding another layer of complexity but the larger vessels don't overwhelm the fruit flavors with oak. The wine's crisp, aromatic flavors of citrus flower, honey and lightly roasted almonds linger in its long finish and are a great complement to grilled shrimp, Caprese salad, and salmon cooked on a cedar plank.
Vintage: The growing season started out with unseasonably warm temperatures in the late winter and early spring, triggering early bud break. Colder temperatures in May slowed grape development which, coupled with the fourth year of drought, resulted in a smaller crop in 2015. The harvest was one of our earliest in memory with the berries smaller than usual, but packed with flavor and color.
Vineyard: Our Miljenko’s Selection tier showcases the unique characteristics of a varietal from specific vineyard blocks selected by Miljenko “Mike” Grgich. Clones, rootstock and farming are matched with the distinctive growing conditions of each site. Chardonnay thrives in our Carneros Vineyard in the southern tip of Napa Valley, near San Pablo Bay, which spills into the San Francisco Bay. The cool maritime breezes and fog allow the grapes to slowly ripen to develop complex flavors while maintaining a pleasing natural acidity that is impossible to achieve in warmer areas. All of our vineyards are certified organic, and we farm them naturally, without artificial pesticides or herbicides.