The steep and rugged terrain of the La Carrière vineyard produces fruit with a great concentration of flavor and aroma. Typically, this wine offers the most lean, citrus-like fruit profile of our four single vineyard Chardonnays, along with a vivid minerality that evokes nuances of sea salt and wet stones.
The 2017 growing season began with abundant rainfall, ending California’s long drought. Spring weather was cool but dry, resulting in an extended blooming period and some shatter. Vines were vigorous thanks to the winter rains and aggressive canopy management and fruit thinning brought the crop into optimal balance. Warmer than normal conditions after veraison accelerated ripening and required careful irrigation to mitigate dehydration. A return of cooler conditions allowed our Chardonnay to gradually reach perfect ripeness. Picking was completed on September 28 with a slightly smaller than normal harvest, resulting in a forward, exotic vintage of Chardonnay with wines showing uncommon richness.
La Carrière, French for ‘the quarry,’ aptly describes this vineyard’s bowl shape and its tremendously rocky soils. Situated between 1,200 and 1,700 feet above sea level on steep mountain slopes exceeding forty percent in grade, the vineyard has ideal southern and southeastern exposures. The vineyard’s shallow rocky soils provide excellent drainage, low fertility and usually the lowest yields on the estate. La Carrière, with its concentrated ‘liquid minerality,’ effectively reflects its mountainous origin.
WINEMAKER’S TASTING NOTES
Terroir-driven minerality remains the hallmark of this vineyard, with aromas of brioche, gingerbread, almond, royal jelly, vine blossoms, jasmine, hazelnut and Williams pear. The nose is dominated by aromas of mandarin orange, acacia, hazelnut and grapefruit. Accents of orange blossom, acacia and vanilla complete the elegant bouquet. Citrus oils, white peach and lemon highlight the minerality. Wonderfully concentrated and elegant on the palate, the wine is sculpted, rich, intense and creamy. The 2017 La Carrière is enjoyable now and will continue to develop for a decade or more.
Knights Valley, Sonoma County
September 2 - 15, 2017
100% naturally fermented using native yeast
100% barrel fermented in 100% French oak from select artisan coopers
Barrel aged sur lies 12 months with weekly bâtonnage
Bottled unfined and unfiltered
February 5, 2019
April 1, 2019La Carrière is named for the steep, rocky and shallow soils found at the high elevation and the vineyard’s distinctive bowl-shaped top section.