Benovia – Chardonnay; Russian River Valley, California; 2021 

 October 7, 2023

By  rackhouse

The Chardonnay is sourced from the Martaella Estate Vineyard and Tilton Hill Vineyards.  There are plantings of heirloom clones of Chardonnay in those vineyards that retain bright acidity and express beautiful floral and mineral notes.  The low-fertility soils and the cool temperatures, in this part of the Russian River Valley, unite to form an ideal place for growing Chardonnay.  The fruit was harvested at night and then gently whole-cluster pressed.  After settling overnight, the juice was fermented in a barrel with indigenous yeast.

The 2021 vintage was welcomed after a difficult and challenging prior vintage.  This was the third drought year in a row, and 2021 began with the driest winter on record in the last 127 years and can be best described as a cold start to a warm and fast finish. With the dry spring conditions, grapevines came out of dormancy early and the mild spring temperatures set a very modest crop. The low yields and drought conditions made for an early and quick harvest of excellent quality.

Bursting with aromas of sun-ripened Golden Delicious Apple, poached pear, and marzipan. The nose is filled with dried apricots and white roses, balanced by abundant acidity and hints of toasted almond and spice cake before finishing with subtle minerality on the palate.

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