The 2018 Chardonnay offers enticing tropical aromas of pineapple, papaya and banana with suggestions of citrus and spice. A soft, seamless texture continues on a tropical note, with accentuating layers of peach, apricot and green apple. A smooth, integrated finish is enlivened by crisp acidity and lingering minerality.
The 2018 Chardonnay comes from blocks 22, 26 and 37 at Margarita Vineyard. Block 20 occupies a northeast-facing flank of the vineyard, where the morning and afternoon temperatures are particularly cool. Here, brisk marine air settles after flowing through a mountain notch known as Trout Creek. These conditions provide our Chardonnay fruit with the long period necessary to nurture vivid varietal character. Block 26 faces southeast, where added sun exposure produces Chardonnay fruit with a riper, more tropical profile. Block 37 unfolds along rocky alluvium soils and provides a fruit-forward core to the final blend. Margarita Vineyard stands alone as the southernmost vineyard in the Paso Robles region, and as the only vineyard in the new Santa Margarita Ranch AVA. The surrounding mountain peaks act as a gateway for cool marine air, resulting in an extended growing season that yields fruit with uncommon depth and structure. The peaks are also testaments to the tectonic forces that created Margarita Vineyard’s rare diversity of soils, ultimately fostering natural complexity in our wines.
The winemaking vision of the 2018 Chardonnay is to produce a wine that strikes a fine balance between the leaner and richer styles of the varietal, in order to offer a versatile, food-friendly Chardonnay. The 2018 growing season was steady from start to finish, yielding Chardonnay fruit with excellent natural balance. After harvesting and light pressing, the juice was primarily cold-fermented in stainless steel tanks for the preservation of delicate aromatics and acidity. A portion of the wine (12%) was fermented and aged in French oak barrels to develop an added sense of roundness. This oak-aged lot also underwent secondary malolactic fermentation, which ultimately lent a fitting touch of creaminess to the wine’s otherwise crisp texture.
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