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2018 Frei Road Chardonnay

2018 Frei Road Chardonnay

Retail: $53.00  |  List Member Price: $42.00

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The Martinelli family has been growing grapes in Sonoma County since the1890s, and it shows in the exceptional quality of the fruit that they produce.  The Chardonnay for this wine was grown by George Martinelli at his Frei Road vineyard, near the small town of Graton.  This is a relatively cool site, located only twenty miles from the Pacific Ocean, and consists of well-drained Goldridge soils.  The combination of site, clonal selection and exceptional farming result in low-yields that produce wines that are both intense in flavor and well balanced.

Near average winter rainfall and mild, cool spring weather led to extended bloom in the Russian River Valley. The lack of any significant weather events during the flowing resulted in even, consistent fruit set.  The summer growing season was mild and steady, with none of the typical heat-spike events that we normally encounter, which allowed for leisurely ripening and extended hang time in the vineyard. This may have been the easiest, most uneventful growing seasons that I have seen!  Even temperatures and ideal growing conditions in August and September allowed us to pick up to three weeks later in places.

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 primary fermentation using natural yeast lasted six months and was completed in barrel, with each barrel being stirred once a week.  The malolactic fermentation was completed by native bacteria, with the secondary fermentation finally finishing up in July. The wine naturally settled, and was bottled without fining or filtration. 

Winemaker Notes
The initial nose of this wine is restrained, offering muted notes of lemon blossoms and wet stone.  On the palate the wine is bright, showing primary flavors of ripe citrus, casaba melon and lemon curd.  The finish is well balanced and persistent with a long, mouthwatering finish.

Technical Notes
Variety: Chardonnay (100%)
Clone / Selection: Wente
Harvest Dates: September 28th, 2018
Barrel-Aging: 16 months in 60-gallon French oak barrels (50% new)
- pH: 3.59
- TA: 6.2 grams/liter
- Alcohol: 14.2%
Filtration:  None
Bottled: February 12th, 2020
Cases Produced: 128

2024 Spring Release Offering

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