2021 Santa Rita Hills Chardonnay
Santa Rita Hills, California
Produced + Bottled by Las Jaras Wines, Sebastopol, CA
Label Art by Alex Goose
At long last, Las Jaras has made a Chardonnay! Our love for mineral laden and tense Chardonnay goes deep. A shocking amount of our wine research budget is spent on Chardonnay – believe it or not. This may be why we waited so long to create our ideal version. The greatest Chardonnays we’ve tasted are rich yet connected to a scaffold of nerve and tension that keep the palate firm, savory and refreshing. Our first foray into a wine made with this iconic grape features a nose of crushed rock, lemon curd and sea air. The palate is a delightful combination of comice pear, mineral, flint, yellow peach, and spice that finishes with a long and firm flourish with a sumptuous texture. DELICIOUS!
We like to pair this wine with bright and savory foods like petrale sole meunière, chicken with harissa and lemon tahini, or tacos with spicy pico de gallo.
The organically grown grapes for this wine come from four blocks of Spear Vineyard that was planted in the late-2000s. This vineyard is located on Hwy 246 on the northeastern end of Mt Carmel and is actually on the opposite side of where Sea Smoke sits. The part of the world is so incredibly gorgeous. It is quite cold here, which gives us a lot of hang time to develop intense flavors. The vineyard faces north-east and is on the sandiest of soils; which require irrigation. The vineyard’s aspect allows for a bright and mineral laden wine.
With Chardonnay meant to express minerality over power, the day you pick is of paramount importance. Since this was our first time working with this vineyard, we actually picked it four separate times to try to figure out what our ideal ripeness level should be in subsequent years. We have found that like our Chenin Blanc, fruit should be picked as soon as the fruit has a hint of ripe flavor, which in this case is at about 19-20 brix. We whole-cluster pressed the grapes as soon as they got into the winery and avoided skin contact. We pressed to a stainless-steel tank, added 10ppm sulfur and settled at cellar temp for 24 hours. The hard press wine was kept separate and not added back. After this period, we racked the juice with the light lees to another tank and warmed it up to initiate fermentation naturally. Once the fermentation started to tick, we transferred the juice to a mix of new and used Stockinger 600L demi muids and one used 800L barrel from Schneckenleitner. After nearly a year in barrel, we transferred the wine to stainless steel tanks for six additional months of aging. We did not fine or filter this wine.
This wine will continue to age very well for the next several years if kept at a consistent cool temperature.
Technical DataProduction: 638 cases | ABV: 13.33% | TA: 6.05 g/L | pH: 3.46 | VA: 0.61 g/L | DCO2: 1095 ppm
Total SO2: 62 ppm | RS: 1.21 g/L | Turbidity at bottling: 5.85 NTU
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