We approach this Chardonnay with focus on freshness, precision and texture. This is a delicate line to walk, as it is easier to embrace a distinct style, such as tank-fermented and fresh, or oaky and textured. The wine was barrel fermented and aged, with primarily older French oak - and a bit of new northern European oak, coopered in Austria. It was bottled in July after ten months of lees aging; a technique we are able to employ for texture and mouthfeel, as we modify our farming approach for favor, acidity and freshness. The result is a wine with the roundness and flavors of aging in barrel, on the lees, but also one that retains freshness and the energy of the vintage.
The 2020 vintage of Madison County Chardonnay displays the unique dynamic of season, clone and site. In 2015 we planted five different clones at Early Mountain, all of which play an important role in this wine. We rely on three of these clones for freshness and acid, while the remaining two clones, along with the Quaker run portion provide aromatic depth and texture. We also blend in a small portion of Chardonnay from two other vineyard we work with, resulting in additional complexity.
Fermented and aged in barrel, a mix of 500L and 228L, 25% new. Older wood is French and northern European and new wood is northern European.