Brilliant in color with a pale straw hue, the wine opens up on the nose with aromas of sliced Granny Smith apples, cream soda and hard candies flavored with the essence of lemons and limes. There's a mineral edge, reminiscent of wet stones, that adds complexity and intrigue. Upon first sip, the wine explodes with a mélange of honeydew melons, cantaloupe and raw sugarcane. This wine's signature notes of cream soda, full body, and rich mouthfeel are balanced midstream with lively acidity and freshness. Lightly roasted hazelnuts and toasted oak finish off the palate.
Poseidon Vineyard, located at the confluence of Carneros Creek and the Napa River, was originally planted in 1973 by the Molnar Family to the Burgundian varietals: Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Originally named “Molnar Family Chardonnay,” in 2012 we have elevated the vineyard name to the brand name, to reflect the single vineyard nature of this wine (but be assured the Molnars are as involved as ever). The maritime environment of the Carneros grape growing season delivers cool, foggy mornings followed by warm days that slowly nurture ripening.
2015 was the earliest vintage on record across the state. Four consecutive years of drought led to significant stress on the vines. Luckily, our mature vineyards with deep roots not only survived—but thrived—through the heat of a late summer. Earlier on in spring, however, we had a cool period during bloom which hampered set in many areas. Our Pinot Noir was mainly affected, with cluster counts reduced and tint berry size, with some clusters growing only a couple of inches long. All this was great for quality but brutal on the yields and pocketbook. Our Chardonnay held strong with only slight reductions in crop. Quality was still high in our wines, despite the heat and we made excellent, ripe renditions of our estate wines.
The fruit was pressed whole-cluster in small batches and barrel-fermented in a cold cellar. Malolactic fermentation was long and allowed us to stir the lees for an extended period of time, boosting the smooth, elegant texture. Malolactic fermentation also helps to manage the high natural acidity of the fruit. The spice that results from using 100% Kádár Tokaj oak has made for a rich yet vibrant Chardonnay from our vineyard.
Michael Terrien, Founding Winemaker