2008 Bacigalupi Chardonnay
Vineyard: The Bacigalupi family has been growing grapes for generations, and it shows in the phenomenal quality of this fruit. Guided by Helen Bacigalupi, and farmed by her son, John, the vineyard is located a few miles south of Healdsburg, just west of the Russian River. The grapes for this wine were grown beside Helen & Charles’ home, at the top of an east-facing slope overlooking the river, and are the heritage Wente selection of Chardonnay. The site benefits from the warm growing conditions in the Middle Reach region of the valley, while still being protected from over-exposure to the late afternoon sun by the vineyard’s terrain. This vineyards is adjacent to the famous block that produced the Chateau Montelena Chardonnay that won the 1976 Judgment of Paris Tasting and helped solidify the reputation of California wines as among the best in the world.
Vintage: A dry winter and warm spring led to an early bud break in the Russian River Valley. Severe frost hit many areas of the valley during the spring. This combined with excessive heat and high winds during flowering resulted in a very small crop. Most of the summer growing season was moderate and even, ending with a ten-day long heat spike in mid-August that hastening ripening. We were patient, and waited for cooler temperatures to return, which allowed the fruit to achieve ideal ripeness. While the yields were very low, we love the quality of the 2008 vintage.
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. An unusually long and very slow primary fermentation using natural yeast lasted ten months was completed in barrel, with each barrel being stirred once a week. The malolactic fermentation was completed using native bacteria, with this wine finishing up an astounding full year after harvest. The wine naturally settled, and was bottled without fining or filtration.
Winemaker Notes: On the nose, this wine offers enticing ripe pear and pineapple aromatics, underscored by notes of vanilla, crème brulee and barrel spice. The ripe pear and lush tropical fruit elements continue on the palate, where a rich, mouthfilling texture is balanced by bright, mouthwatering acidity that leads to a long, persistent finish.
Varieties: Chardonnay (100%)
Harvest Date: September 6th, 2008
Barrel-aging: 23 months in 60-gallon French oak barrels (50% new)
- pH: 3.67
- TA: 6.0 grams / liter
- Alcohol: 14.7% by volume
Bottling Date: August 12th, 2010
Cases Produced: 99