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2009 Sangiacomo Chardonnay

2009 Sangiacomo Chardonnay


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Vineyard: Brothers Mike and Steve Sangiacomo are the third generation of the Sangiacomo family to farm in Sonoma County, and their uncle Buck still drives the fruit truck to our winery after our night harvests. As winegrowers, the Sangiacomos have earned a reputation for their unrivaled professionalism. For our 2009 Sangiacomo Vineyards Chardonnay, we sourced fruit from two exceptional vineyard blocks located approximately 1/3 of a mile apart. These sites are located between the Pacific Ocean and San Pablo Bay, which creates a strong cooling influence that shapes the fruit. The first site, Vella Ranch, is planted to the Wente clone in relatively fertile, nutrient-rich soils, and produces Chardonnay with intense tropical fruit notes. The second site, Green Acre Hill, is a slightly higher, wind-exposed site, where stressed vines produce a more citrus-driven expression of Chardonnay.

Vintage:  After the challenging year experienced by growers in 2008, the 2009 vintage provided almost ideal growing conditions for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay along the Sonoma Coast.  The late winter and spring seasons were dry, with warmer than average temperatures, allowing flowering to occur without event and providing good crop set.  The growing season was cool and even, with very few heat spikes allowing for extended hang time and flavor development.  A very warm end to August pushed the fruit to optimum ripeness and produced Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with intense aromatics, rich flavors, bright acidity and excellent balance.

Winemaking: The fruit for this wine was picked at night to ensure that it arrived at the winery cool and in pristine condition. Grapes were whole-cluster pressed using a very gentle pneumatic press, and the cold juice was transferred directly to barrel. A long, slow fermentation using natural yeast was completed in barrel, as was the malolactic fermentation, with each barrel stirred by hand once a week. The wine naturally settled, and was bottled without fining or filtration.  

Winemaker Notes: On the nose, this wine initially shows a very surprising mineral element reminiscent of wet shale.  Once open for a moment, the aromatics become more fruit driven, with notes of ripe pear, white peach, a touch of pineapple and a subtle hint of citrus blossom.  On the palate, it is rich and unctuous, filling the mouth. The fruit profile is consistent with the nose, with an added note of tart Granny Smith apple.  The finish is dominated by mouthwatering elements of citrus and lemon zest. 

Technical Notes:
Variety:  Chardonnay (100%)
Clone/Selection:  Wente
Harvest Dates:  October 2nd and October 7th, 2009
Barrel-aging:  18 months in 60-gallon French oak barrels (50% new)
  - pH:  3.67
  - TA: 6.0 grams / liter
  - Alcohol:  14.5% by volume
Bottling Date:  May 18th, 2011
Cases Produced:  86


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