2016 Estate Chardonnay
The aroma opens with notes of fresh pears, tuberose, citrus blossoms and tangerine peel. Honey and graham cracker complement the vanilla scents. With a soft entry on the palate, the wine bursts into lively, high tones of apples and citrus. It closes with notes of baked pie crust and a warm, toasty finish.
Poseidon Vineyard, located at the confluence of Carneros Creek and the Napa River, was originally planted in 1973 by the Molnar Family to the Burgundian varietals: Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Originally named “Molnar Family Chardonnay,” in 2012 we have elevated the vineyard name to the brand name, to reflect the single vineyard nature of this wine (but be assured the Molnars are as involved as ever). The maritime environment of the Carneros grape growing season delivers cool, foggy mornings followed by warm days that slowly nurture ripening.
The 2016 growing conditions were ideal in many ways. California received much-needed rains in the winter with an El Niño season. The parched earth finally received moisture needed to replenish lakes, rivers and ponds which ultimately ripen healthy crops. Better set conditions at flowering resulted in increased yield compared with the 2015 vintage, which was alarmingly low for many vineyards in Northern California. Cooler conditions throughout the summer slowed down the pace of growth, increasing hang-time, allowing the vines to focus on flavor development. The moderate autumn weather allowed for a measured pace in the cellar throughout the long harvest, making for easier logistics and a happy cellar crew.
The fruit was pressed whole-cluster in small batches and barrel-fermented in a cold cellar. Malolactic fermentation was long and allowed us to stir the lees for an extended period of time, boosting the smooth, elegant texture. Malolactic fermentation also helps to manage the high natural acidity of the fruit. The spice that results from using 100% Kádár Tokaj oak has made for a rich yet vibrant Chardonnay from our vineyard.
Alex Beloz, Winemaker