Chardonnay, Sonoma County (2015)
This lovely and refreshing Chardonnay has aromas of d’Anjou pear, green apple and grilled pineapple. Bright and crisp, the wine is nicely balanced with honeydew melon and juicy apple flavors along with some toasty notes on the smooth finish.
Grapes that produce our Sonoma County Chardonnay come from our estate vineyards in Sonoma Valley and Russian River Valley, as well as from growers in Sonoma County’s other top appellations, including Carneros and Alexander Valley. Each carefully selected vineyard contributes distinctive and individual qualities to the finished wine.
2015 brought an early and light harvest that began on August 10, the earliest date in St. Francis’ history. The year started out very warm and dry but then cool, damp weather in May hampered fruit set. Though the result was smaller, looser clusters on the vine, the warm and consistent summer that followed produced high quality fruit with exceptional aromatics and concentrated flavors.
To preserve Chardonnay’s delicate flavors, aromas and acidity, the grapes are picked at night and in the very early morning hours so the fruit arrives cold at the winery. Grapes are then immediately pressed whole cluster and fermented in different lots. The wine undergoes partial malolactic fermentation and is aged for six months in French oak barrels. During aging, bâtonage (stirring the lees by hand) is performed to achieve complexity and a rich mouthfeel.