Tate Spring Street Dillon Vineyard (Yountville) Napa Valley Chardonnay 2021
Having made no 2020 vintage wines due to the horrific fires that affected the valley, the 2021 harvest was a welcome reprieve. We had extreme heat in August that pushed some of our earlier ripening varieties to even earlier pick dates. However, the Dillon Vineyard is in a fog pocket on the southeast end of the Yountville bridge on Highway 29. This area is depressed in elevation allowing cooler air and lingering fog that persists until the early afternoon. The vineyard itself is unique in that when Terry Dillon replanted it two decades ago, he chose to do a multi-clonal field blend, adding to the complexity of the wine. This allows us to hang the fruit much longer increasing the flavor development until perfect physiological ripening.
Very early in the morning this fruit was gently guided to the press, then whole cluster pressed. The wine is then directly put into barrel to ferment, maintaining heavy lees, with only two of the eight barrels being new. The lees were stirred weekly. Each barrel is allowed to go through partial malo-lactic; each barrel’s malo conversion is stopped individually when the wine is balanced. In 2021 we allowed for 42% of the malic acid to convert to lactic. After 11 months, the wine was racked off the heavy sediment and bottled.
Brighter and fresher than previous years, there is a lifted abundance of white peach with honeysuckle floral elements. This is complimented by vanilla bean with a pretty soapstone minerality. In its youth, the palate is medium in weight but very lifted with a beautiful freshness. The palate has lovely pear, brioche, and subtle white pepper spice. The acidity refreshes the palate and will aid in the wine’s longevity. This wine is bright in its youth but will age wonderfully over the next 6-7 years (2028-2029). Total production 8 barrels (200 cases).
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