This wine was released to the market October 1st, 1998.
It is a blend of 83% Chardonnay and 17% Viognier, which is another white grape variety from the Rhone Valley in France. The Chardonnay grapes from this wine all came from the Phoenix Estate vineyard while the Viognier was from the Lyons Ranch which is east of the town of Napa. We have worked closely with the owners in the start up of their vineyard and their young vines produced some great fruit in 1997.
The spring of 1997 was quite dry and, consequently, the quality and quantity of the fruit that came in was spectacular. And nowhere was it more dramatic than in the Chardonnay. In years with more rain one has to be more selective, especially with the white grapes, as to what to crush. Even in a year that was so stellar we still rejected some grapes.
The grapes were pressed whole cluster and the juice was put directly into barrel after a short stay in tank. The wine was barrel fermented and aged for 7 months in 25% new American White Oak barrels. The effect this had on the wine can be noticed in both a slightly toasty/butterscotch aroma and some similar flavors that carry into the palate of the wine. The barrel notes are definitely of a more subtle nature when compared to the bright fruit aromas and flavors of apple, pear, and spice that the wine now exhibits.
This wine is a great one to sip, or to start with hors d'euvres, or with the early courses of a meal!
We are proud to inform you that our 1997 Chardonnay was awarded a Bronze Medal at the 1998 California Sate Fair Wine Competition, which is one of the oldest and most highly regarded wine competitions in the country. The label art for this wine was created by Santa Cruz artist Sarah Kerlin. We have featured her artwork on a number of our white wines from the 1996 and 1997 vintages.
Recipes that pair with this wine