Our estate Margarita Vineyard is cradled along the coastal Santa Lucia Mountains just 14 miles from the Pacific Ocean. Here, amid one of the Paso Robles region’s coolest growing environments, we are able to produce a varietally true Chardonnay with a singular sense of place. After producing limited-edition Chardonnays for several years, we were recently inspired to include Chardonnay in our core family of wines. The 2017 vintage marks our third release in this latest addition to our varietal portfolio.
The 2017 Chardonnay presents exuberant aromas of tropical fruits with notes of honeysuckle, caramel and hazelnut. The palate is smooth and resonant, unfolding with beautifully integrated flavors of pear, pineapple, peach and citrus. Touches of lively acidity linger on a lengthy, seamless finish.
The 2017 Chardonnay comes from blocks 22, 26 and 37 at Margarita Vineyard. Block 22 occupies a northeast-facing flank of the vineyard, where the morning and afternoon temperatures are particularly cool. Here, brisk marine air settles after flowing through a mountain notch known as Trout Creek. These conditions provide our Chardonnay fruit with the long period necessary to nurture vivid varietal character. Block 26 faces southeast, where added sun exposure produces Chardonnay fruit with a riper, more tropical profile. Block 37 unfolds along rocky alluvium soils and provides a fruit-forward core to the final blend. Margarita Vineyard stands alone as the southernmost vineyard in the Paso Robles region, and as the only vineyard in the new Santa Margarita Ranch AVA. The surrounding mountain peaks act as a gateway for cool marine air, resulting in an extended growing season that yields fruit with uncommon depth and structure. The peaks are also testaments to the tectonic forces that created Margarita Vineyard’s rare diversity of soils, ultimately fostering natural complexity in our wines.
The winemaking vision of the 2017 Chardonnay is to produce a wine that strikes a fine balance between the leaner and richer styles of the varietal, in order to offer a versatile, food-friendly Chardonnay. After harvesting and light pressing, the juice was primarily cold-fermented in stainless steel tanks for the preservation of delicate aromatics and acidity. A portion of the wine (12%) was fermented and aged in French oak barrels to develop an added sense of roundness. This oak-aged lot also underwent secondary malolactic fermentation, which ultimately lent a fitting touch of creaminess to the wine’s otherwise crisp
Food Pairing Notes
The 2017 Chardonnay is made to be versatile with food. Recommended pairings include grilled citrus chicken, fettucine alfredo, butter-poached scallops, and shrimp pasta in white wine sauce.