2021 Alder Springs Chardonnay

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100% Chardonnay

Alder Springs, Mendocino County, California

Produced + Bottled by Las Jaras Wines, Sebastopol, CA

Label Art by Alex Goose

Description

Nestled atop the undulating hills of coastal Mendocino County, Alder Springs Vineyard is a crown jewel and has produced some of the greatest wines of its region. We are elated to debut our single varietal Chardonnay made from this site. Our affinity for exceptional Chardonnay runs profoundly deep – we gravitate towards those that are mineral-rich in character and have an electrifying tension that stimulates the senses. When we decided to pursue making our own Chardonnays we aspired to meet and redefine our expectations of what a transcendent Chardonnay could be. We’re perpetually searching far and wide for Chardonnay that makes our hearts sing in the moment then lingers until we find we are still thinking about it the next morning! Now we have made one like that of our own.

The 2021 Alder Springs Chardonnay is a powerhouse of concentration. It opens up with a nose of orange blossom, wisteria, Meyer lemon, and anise. On the palate we find pippin apple, yellow nectarine, Meyer lemon and apricot with mineral and spice notes through the long finish. 

The boldness of this wine will make it pair incredibly with roast chicken, tandoori salmon, or garlicy lemon pasta. A beautiful complement to a meal!

Vineyard

Located in far northern Mendocino County on a 6,000 acre ranch and nearly an hour’s drive from the next nearest vineyard, Alder Springs Vineyard was established by Stuart Bewley in 1993. In a search for the right spot to grow great grapes, he carefully studied soils from over forty sites in California and concluded that the former cattle operation was an ecological gem. The rugged, remote, and steep landscape offers nearly perfect growing conditions: bright sun, cool nights, and low-vigor soils. Being just 12 miles from the Pacific and hedged by thick redwood forest, the vines are blessed with the cooling temperatures from the ocean but are also occasionally cursed from smoke from California’s wildfires — a testament to the tension of working with Mother Nature. Environmental concerns are a driving force for Stuart and a large portion of the ranch’s acreage, also supports a timber project with the purpose of carbon sequestration, in which the trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Alder Springs Vineyard is a 6000 acre ranch situated in Northern Mendocino County in the town of Laytonville. There are about 140 acres of vineyard planted on gravelly loam and decompressed sandstone at elevations from 1700-2700 feet. Stu Bewley, the ranch’s owner, farms our blocks organically. The vineyard is organized into three sub-vineyards. We source from Chardonnay clones 548 and 124 from the Emerald Pool sub vineyard.

Winemaking

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 picked it slightly riper than we would in subsequent years. That said, we still pick it quite early at about 21 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. 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 Data

Production: 237  cases | ABV: 13.46% | TA: 5.65 g/L | pH: 3.47 | VA: 0.61 g/L | DCO2: 1211 ppm

Total SO2: 66ppm | RS: 1.6 g/L | Turbidity at bottling: 4.5 NTU

Download a technical data sheet here.

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