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.
Beringer’s Chardonnay vineyards span several 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 2016 blend comes from our Gamble Ranch in Oakville, as well as Big Ranch and Los Carneros Stanly vineyards. These vineyards produce Chardonnays with layers of fine fruit flavors and crisp natural acidity.
The extended drought was beginning to cause real concern as the 2016 growing season kicked off, but some welcomed winter rain hinted at the relief to come. After a relatively dry January we enjoyed significant rainfall in February, along with mild temperatures. Bud break was early, but was slowed by heavy April showers. While still early by historical standards, picking began about a week later than 2015, and continued at a leisurely pace, allowing the grapes to reach full flavor maturity. A traditionally sized harvest followed the lighter showing of 2015, and the extended season helped to balance the acids and add complexity to the layers of flavors.
Chardonnay was harvested late night and early morning at the coolest part of the day, quickly to gentle pressing. A portion of the wine was fermented in stainless, with 25% in tank and 75% in French oak (20% new) for six months prior to bottling. Some 80% 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.