Last Thursday we bottled 52 cases of our 2012 Russian River Chardonnay: unfiltered, un-oaked, conditioned about six months sur lie in neutral oak, alcohol at about 13%. This fruit came from the “Jack Pierce” block off Olivet road: about a half acre of Chardonnay clone 4 farmed by our friend Randy Pitts of Harvest Moon. It was a gently pruned, very low-yield block: a little over a ton, which I picked just after Labor Day between 21 and 22 brix. This fruit is about a half-mile south of Jon Philips’ Inspiration Vineyard, where the Chardonnay in my 2011 came from. The lower yields and slightly more hands-off farming shows: this 2012 has big aromas and distinctive round layers of citrus, apple, banana, with a pleasing amount of acid to stitch it all together. We’ll let it settle in the bottle this spring and look to release it toward summer’s end.
Big thanks to our bottling slaves, that’s Mr. Harris dumping glass and Ms. Leah Tracy doing pick and pack, yours truly on camera and tape gun.