From the Winery:
“2017 marks the inaugural vintage of our La Jota W.S. Keyes Vineyard Chardonnay and first-time winemaker Chris Carpenter worked with this lustrous grape variety. Grown in a cherished vineyard block planted in the historic W.S. Keyes Vineyard in 1999, this wine showcases the Chardonnay variety first and foremost while bringing the Howell Mountain terroir to life. Barrel-aged with just 10% new oak this Chardonnay expresses screaming minerality, refreshing acidity, and notes of white peach, crisp pear, and freshly baked bread.
Despite how beautifully Chardonnay expresses itself on Howell Mountain, there is very little of the variety planted—making this month's offering all the more special. Chris prizes the extended sunlight hours at 1,825 feet elevation, which deliver a great volume of radiant energy to these grapes. “Heat alone does not affect flavor development to the extent that radiant energy does," he explains. "Light drives the change in the flavor compounds.”
“Having less than 10% new oak, and most of the texture coming from 22-months of stirring on the lees, this wine’s purpose is showcasing the Chardonnay variety. The screaming minerality that would have been masked by oak is the terroir of Howell Mountain shining through. Combined with crisp pears, white peach, refreshing acidity, and fresh baked bread notes – this is a wine ready to drink now, but also built to age.”