Location: Healdsburg, Sonoma County, California
Rating: 7 out of 10
Description: After a gentle pressing, juice was moved to French oak barrels (38% new) for fermentation. Partial native yeast fermentation encouraged textural and aromatic complexity. Malolactic fermentation followed, with each lot spending a total of seven months sur lies with monthly stirring. The resulting wine is richand creamy on the palate. Flavors reminiscent of pear and apple, with hints of tropical fruits and hazelnut, are nicely integrated and well-balanced with the toasty, spicy characters of French oak. The glass-filling flavors and crisp acid-balance make it partner well with herbed chicken, flavorful cheeses, and a variety of seafood dishes.
Wines aged sur lies are kept in contact with the dead yeast cells and other sedimentary matter that remain when the fermentation is completed. In the last decade, this practice has become fairly commonplace in the making of Chardonnay and is followed also on occasion for Sauvignon Blanc. The hope is that sur lies aging will add complex quality to the wine-often akin to a toasty, roasted-grain character.