2016 Mormann Vineyard Chardonnay
Mormann Vineyard is an under-the-radar ranch in the north-west corner of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA, whose neighbors include Clos Pepe, Machado, Hilliard Bruce, and Kessler Hawk. The vineyard was first planted in 1999 and 2001 and operated for years as the Rozak Ranch Vineyard before changing hands.
The vines are grown on what is essentially a beach sand dune that is incredibly nutrient deficient, but has great drainage. This means that overly vigorous canopy is never a problem, and the yields are always low and concentrated. The vines struggle in this cool wind swept area which produces wines with beautiful natural acidity and bright fruit flavors.
This bottling of Chardonnay was made by hand-picking at very low sugars and whole-bunch pressing the grapes. The juice was sent straight to neutral French oak barrels for fermentation which was started spontaneously.
We aged the wine for eight months in barrel while stirring lees about once a month to help build texture and weight.
The resulting wine is energetic with meyer lemon, pear, spice, struck match, and mineral aromas and flavors. The acidity is zippy and fresh, with texture and weight provided by the barrel aging and battonage. The wine finishes fresh and long with lemon, mineral, and toasty lees flavors.