Nestled in the cool, southern portion of the Sonoma Valley the rolling hills of the prestigious Durell Vineyard enjoy the optimum growing conditions for the Chardonnay grape. Barrel fermented in French oak, our Durell Chardonnay has rich texture with complex tropical fruit elements balanced by notes of Meyer lemon.
"Aged in 32% new French oak for 15 months, the 2016 Chardonnay Durell Vineyard rocks up with gregarious notions of ripe apricots, mango pudding and key lime pie with hints of cashews and beeswax. Medium-bodied with layer upon layer of tropical and nut flavors, it has a racy line and nice long finish." - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, October 2018
Generous and round, often called elegant, bracing aromas and flavors of pineapple, ripe pear and lemon zest are joined by caramel and pleasant burnt sugar with toasted hazelnut and sweet vanilla spice. A lovely acid backbone, well structured and nicely balanced, the Durell Chardonnay has a long, lingering lemon curd finish.
The extended drought caused concern as the 2016 growing season began, but welcomed winter rain hinted at the relief to come. After a relatively dry January significant rainfall arrived in February, along with mild temperatures. Bud break was early, but was slowed by heavy April showers. While still early by historical standards, picking began about a week later than 2015, in mid-September. A traditionally sized harvest followed the lighter vintage of 2015, and the extended mild season helped balance the acids and add complexity to the fruit.
The celebrated Durell Vineyard is found in the northwestern corner of Carneros on the Sonoma side of this unique growing region. Durell is strongly influenced by the cooling breezes and morning fog from the nearby San Pablo Bay and San Francisco Bay, and basks in the plentiful afternoon sunshine. Soils here are volcanic and rocky Goulding clay loam, with gently rolling slopes that benefit from both the cool Bay breezes and warmer clime of Sonoma Valley to the north.
Classic winemaking techniques of barrel fermentation and sur lie aging are used in crafting this single vineyard Chardonnay. Clonal selection plays an important role in the final blend, with both Clone 5 and Clone 15 being used exclusively. After completing 100 % malolactic fermentation, the wine spent 15 months in 100% French oak barrels (32% new).
Margo Van Staaveren’s has been Winemaker for Chateau St. Jean since 2003 and has worked at the winery for over 40 harvests. She was named “Winemaker of the Year” by Wine Enthusiast magazine in 2008. During her long tenure with the winery, Margo has played a pivotal role in every facet of the winemaking process. As winemaker, she makes the final decisions involving blend and style to produce consistently high quality wines in the super premium and luxury category.
|Oak Treatment||15 months in 100% French oak barrels (32% new)|
|Case Production||550 cases|