2011 Poseidon Vineyard "Boon Fly's Hill" Chardonnay
Initial aromas of late-summer, fresh-picked, ripe apples and pears are followed by scents of toffee and vanilla. The initial mouthfeel is extremely so, like creamy citrus yogurt. The palate is then quickly charged with bright acidity that keeps the wine fresh, lively and inviting. The finish lingers with rich, layered and ripe fruit as well as hints of caramel.
At our Poseidon Vineyard, originally planted in 1973, the maritime influence of the Carneros grape-growing season delivers cool, foggy mornings followed by warm days; ripening is nurtured slowly. Rising at the southernmost edge of the vineyard is the small, gravelly “Boon Fly’s Hill” that overlooks the Napa Valley Marina; boats bob in the water just a few steps away. Boon Fly was a colorful character from the early days of the settlement of Carneros; legend has it that he is buried somewhere on this hill. This two-acre block of vines consistently produces our most elegant and distinguished Chardonnay, and we honor that distinctiveness—and Boon Fly himself—with this reserve bottling.
2011 provided a cool, extended growing season that was ideal in Carneros for the Burgundian varieties of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Extended hang-time allowed for ripe flavors to develop without compromising natural acidity, keeping the flavors of the wine fresh and intact. The harvest was so late, and conditions so cool and mild, that the pick dates on this Chardonnay extended well into the time typically reserved for picking red wines.
The crest of Boon Fly’s Hill ripens earlier than the rest of our Chardonnay blocks, a result of the naturally lower crop that sets in this sandy, gravel-rich soil. Clusters are smaller here, and so are the berries themselves. Because the vines are more exposed at the crest, the sun-kissed fruit develops the ripe, rich flavors that make this wine so opulent. Fruit is picked at dawn, pressed whole cluster and the juice immediately placed into new Kádár Heavy Toast barrels. The barrels are quickly placed into a cold room where long, drawn-out primary and secondary fermentations allow for the lees to contribute creamy flavors to the wine. After this initial active period, the wine sits untouched before it is racked off clean for bottling, unfined and just lightly filtered.