With a beautiful aromatic mix of toasted baguette, apricots, stone fruits, and a hint of cream, this wine has an elegant mouthfeel, with wonderful minerality that adds an earthy and saline texture to the palate. The wine finishes long, emphasizing the char of tight-grained Tokaj oak barrels and a hint of spice.
At our Poseidon Vineyard, originally planted in 1973, the maritime influence of the Carneros grape-growing season delivers cool, foggy mornings followed by warm days; ripening is nurtured slowly. Rising at the southernmost edge of the vineyard is the small, gravelly “Boon Fly′s Hill” that overlooks the Napa Valley Marina; boats bob in the water just a few steps away. Boon Fly was a colorful character from the early days of the settlement of Carneros; legend has it that he is buried somewhere on this hill. This two-acre block of vines consistently produces our most elegant and distinguished Chardonnay, and we honor that distinctiveness—and Boon Fly himself—with this reserve bottling.
Drought led conversations all over the farmlands and vineyards of California in early 2014. However, strong, compact rains in February and March helped secure a solid growing season for the vines through spring and early summer. The size of our crop was minimally affected, but it was slightly lower than the previous two years. During harvest, there were no extreme heat waves, which helped moderate ripening. The tricky issue was that, with the record-breaking drought, the vines ripened fruit earlier than ever before. Most of our varietals were ripening at the same time in early September, and it felt odd to be picking Cabernet Sauvignon alongside Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Timing aside, the modest temperatures of late summer and fall offered us the luxury of picking at optimum ripeness.
The crest of Boon Fly’s Hill ripens earlier than the rest of our Chardonnay blocks, a result of the naturally lower crop that sets in this sandy, gravel-rich soil. Clusters are smaller here, and so are the berries themselves. Because the vines are more exposed at the crest, the sun-kissed fruit develops the ripe, rich flavors that make this wine so opulent. Fruit is picked at dawn and pressed whole-cluster, and the juice is immediately placed into new Kádár Heavy Toast barrels. The barrels are quickly placed into a cold room where long, drawn-out primary and secondary fermentations allow for the lees to contribute creamy flavors to the wine. After this initial active period, the wine sits untouched before it is racked off clean for bottling, unfined and just lightly filtered.
Alex Beloz, Winemaker
Michael Blaise Terrien, Founding Winemaker