Surprisingly plush and creamy, aromas and flavors of tart citrus lead with hints of white pear, delicious apple and a bit of lemon meringue and toasted almonds. Balanced, with moderate acidity, the brightness of the Chardonnay fruit shines through.
Grapes for the 2017 Napa Valley Chardonnay were harvested between September 6th and September 29th. Beringer's Chardonnay vineyards span a pair of sub-appellations in southern Napa Valley, where fog from the San Pablo Bay works its way north most afternoons during the growing season, cooling the vineyards and allowing for a longer maturation period. The majority of the 2017 blend comes from our Big Ranch in Oak Knoll, balanced in equal measure from the Gamble Ranch in Oakville. These vineyards produce Chardonnays with layers of fine fruit flavors and crisp natural acidity.
The 2017 vintage provided high quality thanks to lower than average yields. The year began with abundant rainfall. Spring weather was mild, resulting in extended flowering in some areas with little shatter. Vines were vigorous thanks to the winter rains. A freak hail storm passed through quickly in June causing isolated damage. Three heat events, including one over Labor Day weekend, kicked harvest into high gear. Cool weather arrived immediately afterward, allowing sugar levels to return to normal.
Chardonnay was harvested late night and early morning at the coolest part of the day, then quickly brought to gentle pressing. A portion of the wine was fermented in stainless, with 25% in tank and 75% in French Oak (39% new) for eight months prior to bottling. Some 45% of the wine was allowed to undergo secondary malolactic fermentation to find the right balance allowing a solid acid backbone to be balanced with a creamy mouthfeel and lush texture, with lees stirring twice monthly.