Chardonnay, Wild Oak Vineyard, Sonoma Valley (2014)
This is a Burgundian-style Chardonnay: delicate and refreshing with bright acidity. White peach, orange blossom and honey aromas present along with flavors of Honeycrisp apple, pear and sweet spices followed by a touch of minerality on the finish.
The fruit for this lovely wine comes from our Wild Oak Estate Vineyard located at the base of majestic Sugarloaf Ridge and Hood Mountain in historic Sonoma Valley. The rock and gravel that has washed down over the centuries provide an ideal soil for Chardonnay and the region’s moderate climate prolongs ripening and hang time, promoting natural balance in this wine.
Warm sunny days throughout the spring and summer months set the stage for a spectacular harvest in September 2014. The lack of rain meant that harvest began a little earlier than normal and was short in length, finishing up by the end of October. The temperate days leading up to harvest produced good yields of high quality fruit with concentrated flavors, complex aromatics and excellent structure.
The fruit is picked at night and delivered to the winery while still cold to preserve the wine’s delicate flavors, aromas and acidity. Grapes are pressed whole cluster, then fermented sur lie in a temperature controlled room kept at 55 degrees to ensure slow fermentation. The wine undergoes partial malolactic fermentation and is stirred by hand three times per week to increase mid-palate intensity. Winemaker Katie Madigan ages this wine for seven months in French oak barrels, 60% new, with a light, soft toast to create a creamy mouthfeel without heavy oak notes.
• 2 cups flour
• 2/3 cup powdered sugar, sifted
• 8 ounces butter, cubed and chilled
• 8 eggs
• 3 cups sugar
• 1¼ cups fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 12 lemons)
• Powdered sugar for dusting
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix flour, powdered sugar and butter until a dough is formed, about 3-4 minutes. This can be done in a large bowl by hand if necessary but will double the amount of time.
Press the dough into a greased 9x12 baking dish. Bake until crust is lightly golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature.
Drop oven temperature to 300°F.
Whisk together the eggs, lemon juice, sugar and flour in a large bowl. Pour filling into the crust.
Place baking dish in the center of the oven and bake until the custard is set, about 40 minutes. Let cool, then place in the refrigerator to continue chilling. Cut into 2-inch squares and dust with powdered sugar.
Recipe created by St. Francis Executive Chef Bryan Jones