Austin Hope Chardonnay 2021
One of our finest white wines, this beautiful Chardonnay displays aromas of fresh honeysuckle, stone fruit and a spritz of citrus. On the pallet, tropical notes are integrated with fresh lemon and a hint of creamy vanilla. The wine finishes with a beautiful weight that lingers.
We source our Chardonnay from some very distinctive vineyards. One, in particular, is tucked in a narrow valley annexed to the Santa Maria Valley which allows for warm days, light maritime breezes and daily marine layers. Sandy loam soils provide good drainage.
The 2021 growing season was very typical through early spring with cool, ocean breezes. Early summer through harvest gave us some unexpected heatwaves but plenty of marine layers and mild weather prevailed later through harvest. The result was a slight delay of harvest while we waited for acidity, pH and brix to balance.
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 (32% new French Oak) 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 2022 to be racked off their less and put onto 32% brand new French Oak. The blend was assembled in June of 2022, heat and cold stabilized in stainless steel tanks, before filtering and bottling in mid-July of 2022.