Hommage Artist Series Reserve Chardonnay
Carneros, Napa Valley
Jan Shrem chose Hommage as the name for Clos Pegase's reserve wines as a tribute to the memory of the artist whose painting graces the label-and to the artisans, growers, enologists, craftsmen and workers whose efforts are reflected in the wines at Clos Pegase. Each year the Shrems proudly choose a different work of art from their extensive collection to be reproduced on the Hommage label.
A brilliant pale golden color shows off intense golden apple, baked pear, quince jam, brioche, beeswax and spicy notes. Lush and fleshy on the palate, the thick, rich texture balances mouth-filling intensity of flavor and leads to a finish of great length and stylish minerality.
Vineyard & Vintage Notes
A third consecutive winter of low rainfall started the 2008 season. Budbreak was slightly later than average, beginning in the first week of April. Warmth in late May encouraged fruit-set, and all varieties were completed in less than ten days after bloom, giving great consistency to the crop. Following a hot summer, the harvest commenced with a bang in late August/early September, although the weather then moderated to a long and mild fall. Our oldest plantings of the ‘Old Wente’ selection from Mitsuko’s Vineyard, located in a cooler part of Napa Carneros, thrived in this vintage, and we selected fruit from this venerable Chardonnay as the base for our 2008 Hommage Chardonnay.
Our Hommage Chardonnay was night harvested and delivered cold in the wee hours of the morning for immediate gentle and controlled whole cluster pressing, ensuring the highest quality grape juice possible. Juice with full solids was racked into barrels, and fermentation with natural yeast proceeded slowly in our chilly Cellar. After fermentation, the new wines were inoculated with a malolactic bacteria strain developed in Champagne which naturally deacidifies and stabilizes the wine without production of buttery flavors and aromas that can detract from our Estate fruit personality. This wine was stirred frequently and aged sur lie (on yeast and grape solids) for 19 months without racking. In the summer of 2010, the wine was racked up to tank to prepare for bottling.
The label for our 2008 vintage pays homage to Pierre Alechinsky. Born in Brussels, he was the youngest founding member of the Cobra group, a group of Belgian, Danish and Dutch artists in search of new means of expression focusing on spontaneity and experiment. The Belgian members were particularly interested in writing as a pictorial method of expression. Alechinsky’s oeuvre contains many works where graffiti-filled window frames pull one’s attention inwards.