2015 Kuleto Estate Homestead Chardonnay, Napa Valley
The 2015 is remarkable with its simultaneous attack of flavor and structure as soon as it hits your palate. It is both intensely fresh and immensly satisfying in terms of depth.
14 months in 20% new French oak
100% barrel fermented
30% Fermented to 20 Brix on skins and stems prior to pressing, 20% Skin soaked prior to pressing, 50% Whole cluster pressed. We’ve been playing with methods to build power and flavor into our Chardonnays for years now – mostly by employing old-fashioned methods of soaking the crushed fruit on the stems for hours or days or fermenting a portion of the fruit partially or to complete dryness with skins and stems. Continuing with the method of skin and stem contact ‘perfected’ in 2013 and 2014, we expanded the amount wine in direct contact with stems in 2015 but pressed that portion off when very little alcohol had been created (at 20 Brix, the alcohol might be as little as 2%). This gave us the tannin grip we were looking for, the lime zest flavor in the mid-palate, and, whether it was the time on the skins, seeds, and stems or not, a pleasing coriander-like savory quality in the finish. In many whites, the flavor doesn’t hit you until the texture has registered.
Vintage 2015 gave us yet another beautiful harvest in the Napa Valley. This following the fabulous vintages of 2012-2014 is a luxury we fully appreciate. This year in particular was marked by a few late-season heat spells that created opulent fruit with great concentration. The heat helps to completely ripen the grapes and bring out the tremendous fruit flavors and textural depth in the final wine.
Only 254 cases produced