This is a tart, sublime still wine from the sparkling wine-producer's estate. With lovely acidity, it's lemony fresh yet lush on the palate, developing further flavors of nectarine and salty pretzel that finish crisp and stony.
By Iron Horse Vineyards
Estate Chardonnay 2014
The 2014 Estate Chardonnay is signature cool climate, foggy Green Valley in an exceptional vintage. It represents seven individual blocks on the estate giving it wonderful complexity with a silky texture.
Appellation: Green Valley of Russian River Valley, Sonoma County
Blend: 75% Hyde Old Wente, 25% Rued Clone Chardonnay
Alcohol: 13.60% by volume
Acidity: 0.59 g/100ml
Residual Sugar: Less than 0.20g/100ml
Malolactic Fermentation: None
Barrels: 100% water bent French oak
Harvest Dates: August 27 - September 3, 2014
Date Bottled: July 2015
Total Production: 3,732 Cases
Suggested Retail Price: $29.00
All of our Estate Chardonnay is handled 10 tons (one press lot) at a time. Only as the grapes arrive at the winery do we decide how to treat them. 100% of the Chardonnay grapes were pressed as whole clusters, just as we do with sparkling wine. Frequent lees stirring or 'batonnage,' at least three times a week for at least seven months contributes to the complex flavors.
At Iron Horse, "Estate Bottled" means that the winemaking begins in the vineyard. Our location in Green Valley represents the very best soil, climate, and aspects for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Our goal is to grow the best wine grapes through what we call "precision winegrowing." All pruning, canopy management, irrigation, and cover crop decisions are determined on a block-by-block (and sometimes even vine-by-vine) basis, considering both the vintage at hand and the long-term needs of the land.
For Sparkling and Still Wine, Precision Harvesting is Key
Our only rule is to make the best wines we can. We wait until harvest to decide sparkling or still, as the only difference is the Brix level (or the amount of sugar in the grapes - less for sparklings, more for still). Then winemaker David Munksgard considers berry size (bigger is better for sparklings, smaller for still), the health of the canopy, clone selection, even small details such as the relative dampness of the cover crop can make a difference. If necessary, parts of a single block may be picked on different days.
On the nose, there is great complexity with touches of pineapple, melon, green apple, kiwi, and yeast. On the palate, there is minerality, pineapple, lime, and a gentle mouthfeel (a result of extensive batonnage). Our Estate Chardonnay is a classic food wine. Try it with roasted cauliflower and cannellini bean salad, thyme-roasted chicken with buttermilk mashed potatoes and a salad of baby greens, smoky ham, and corn chowder. Salmon rillettes on buttered brioche would be a perfect hors-d'oeuvre.
[Information provided by Matador Vino]