Extended Age Chardonnay, Behler Vineyard, Sonoma Valley (2014)
This is a full-bodied and elegant Chardonnay that shows off a luscious, creamy mouthfeel with aromas and flavors of honey, orange marmalade and brioche with a touch of crispness and lemon zest on the finish.
This rich Chardonnay comes from our Certified Sustainable Behler Estate Vineyard, named for the Behler family, who first cultivated the land in the 1900s. Our founder Joe Martin purchased this 100-acre Sonoma Valley vineyard in 1971 and planted it with Chardonnay and Merlot. Ideally suited to the warm days and cool nights here, the Chardonnay develops full, round flavors and crisp acidity.
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.
Winemaker Katie Madigan crafts this wine in a richer, more opulent style than our other premium Chardonnays. The fruit is picked at daybreak 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 maintained at 55 degrees to ensure a slow fermentation. The initial bottling for this wine was in August 2015. For this Extended Age wine, select barrels were set aside, chosen for their taste profile and acidity level, and given an extra 12 months of aging and battonage (stirring) to impart a rounder, more complex mouthfeel. This wine was bottled in August 2016.
TARRAGON & WHOLE GRAIN MUSTARD STUFFED CHICKEN BREAST
• 4 chicken airline breast (wing joint attached) with skin
• 4 tablespoons whole grain mustard
• 1 bunch tarragon, chopped
• 1 large shallot, finely chopped
• 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
• 1 tablespoon canola oil
• Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400°F.
To prepare stuffing, combine whole grain mustard, tarragon, shallots and extra virgin olive oil in a small bowl. Mix well.
Using your fingers, carefully create a 2 inch pocket at top of breast by sliding your index finger between skin and flesh. Leaving the skin attached on the rest of the breast. Distribute one tablespoon of stuffing evenly within the space between the flesh and skin
for each breast.
Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat and add one tablespoon of canola oil. Season both sides of the breast with salt and pepper and place skin side down in sauté pan. Cook for 10 minutes, or until skin side is crispy. Turnover the chicken and then place the pan in oven for an additional 10 minutes or until juices run clear. Let rest for 3-4 minutes before serving.
Recipe created by St. Francis Executive Chef Bryan Jones