Austin Hope Chardonnay 2020
Aromas of fresh honeysuckle, dried apricot and white peaches are the perfect introduction to the weighted mouth feel on the pallet. Tropical fruit flavors of mango and papaya are brightened with orange peel oil and a citrus splash. The wine is finished with a hint of creaminess and clean minerality that balances.
Vineyard Notes: The 2020 growing season and harvest was near normal in some ways and very unusual in others. Rainfall was 12% below average with the bulk of the storms occurring in early winter and early spring. Spring frost threats were mild. Vine growth and berry development was normal through spring. Then, Summer brought relentless heatwaves that lasted for days at a time. Wildfires began erupting throughout the state and the region was inundated with smoke from fires burning throughout the Central Coast from July through the end of September. The heat pattern pushed maturities quickly. Harvest timing tracked as normal. Yields were down by 20% but initial and thorough testing showed no damage from the smoke and very promising quality.
Winemaker Notes: After harvesting, Chardonnay grapes were whole-cluster pressed into stainless steel tanks for settling at 30 degrees. The juice was then racked off its heavy lees into 65 % barrels and 35% stainless steel tanks for fermentation. The barrel fermented portion saw 7 months of sur-lie aging and during the first three months, the barrels were stirred monthly to add to the creamy nature of the wine. Select Chardonnay barrel lots were narrowed down in May of 2021 to be racked off their less and put onto 100% brand new French Oak. The blend was assembled in June of 2021, heat and cold stabilized in stainless steel tanks, before filtering and bottling in early July of 2021.