Mitsuko's Vineyard Chardonnay
Carneros, Napa Valley
Our 2011 Mitsuko’s Vineyard Chardonnay possesses compelling and complex aromas of intense ripe nectarines, Macoun apples, tangelos, white honeysuckle, fennel pollen and beeswax, framed by subtly spicy toasty oak. A full yet perfectly balanced entry leads to an intense and vibrant mid-palate with vivid complex fruit flavors, finishing with a fascinating balance of length, richness and minerality.
Vineyard & Vintage Notes
2011 began with a cooler-than-average winter and spring, accompanied by intermittent rainfall which naturally thinned crop levels through berry shatter. Following delays in bud break, flowering and fruit-set, warmer summer temperatures together with an absence of heat spikes moved grape maturity forward through veraison in an ideal manner. During early autumn, the fruit maintained an ideal path to ripeness, with great flavor development even at lower sugar levels. However, following an ideal early harvest period, rains began arriving in early October, a turn of events requiring extreme measures in the vineyard, including removal of weather-damaged clusters and additional leaf pulling to expose clusters to drying breezes. Thankfully, the well-drained soils of our Estate vineyards allowed us to weather the storms without quality impact. Our vigilance and determination in the vineyard resulted in a small crop of high quality fruit demonstrating great freshness, vibrancy and balance which was able to be harvested and nurtured into the building blocks of our wine.
Our Chardonnay was night harvested by hand with table sorting of clusters in the vineyard under high intensity lamps. The grapes arrived at the winery in the wee hours of the morning for immediate gentle and controlled whole cluster pressing, ensuring the highest quality grape juice possible. Juice was racked into barrels, and primary fermentation proceeded slowly in our chilly Cellar. After fermentation, the new wines were inoculated with a malolactic bacteria strain which naturally deacidifies the wine without production of buttery flavors and aromas that can detract from our Estate fruit personality. These wines were stirred frequently and aged sur lie for 8 months without racking. In the summer of 2012, the wine was racked up to tank in preparation for bottling.