2009 Maldonado Vineyard Chardonnay, Dijon Clones, Napa Valley
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September 24th, 2009
15 Month Used French Oak Barrels
January 11, 2011
Get ready to experience excitement! The 2009 Maldonado may very well be my favorite release from this vineyard yet. The wine begins with a golden hue and upon entry has a wonderful Chablis like appeal. Aromas of lemon cake, Asian pears and white stone fruit come through from the glass. The palate is backed up with freshness generous, bright fruit. The acidity is tamed with 20% malolactic and the harmony of this noble white is thread together by a sensation of candy vanillin. This is not a boorish Chardonnay but one with stylish expression. Cellared correctly this wine will survive to provide 3 to 4 years of pleasure or more. Winemaker & Proprietor, Kirk P.Venge
The Dijon Clones are modern strains of Chardonnay carefully isolated from grapevine nursery blocks in France. These strains are selected for their incredible ability to produce the best of what the varietal has to offer and therefore have become quite popular with cool climate growers today. Working with long-time Napa Valley father and son grape growers, Lupe and Hugo Maldonado, is quite a privilege. The father and son duo have over 50 years of combined grape growing experience. Located in the southeastern most reaches of the Napa Valley in a small area identified as Jameson Canyon, the Maldonado’s have certainly made the right decisions by planting precisely the right vines, with very tight spacing, on the exact soil to create the idyllic Chardonnay terroir. The vines were carefully hand harvested and delivered cool to the winery. Harvest took place about a week earlier than 2008, on September 24th.
Once to the winery and weighted in, the grapes were gently whole cluster pressed and allowed to cold settle prior to filling once used French Oak barrels. I was careful not to “push” too much oak into this wine and smother its finer attributes. Batonage, or the gentle stirring of the lees, is employed in the early stages of age-ing to further develop refined richness and length of body to the midpalate while keeping the wine clean and fresh. The wine was surlies aged for 15 months. It is a blend of 80% non malolactic and 20% malolactic in-duced barrels.
200 Cases Produced