Classic and well-balanced only begins to explain the beauty of the 2012 vintage. Conditions were optimal with ideal spring bud break, even flowering and fruit set, and plenty of warm long summer days. A few small heat spikes in September and October brought great concentration and color to the fruit. A long Indian summer of mild temperatures and sunny days was an important factor in the ripening process. The crop was thinned rigorously, with only the most perfect clusters kept. The vineyard crew was able to harvest when the fruit had reached perfect balance and ripeness levels. The 2012 Chardonnay vintage displays exceptional structure and quality.
La Carrière, French for “the quarry,” aptly describes this vineyard’s bowl shape and its tremendously rocky soils. Situated between 1,200 and 1,700 feet above sea level on steep mountain slopes exceeding forty percent in grade, the vineyard has ideal southern and southeastern exposures. The vineyard’s shallow rocky soils provide excellent drainage, low fertility and usually the lowest yields on the estate. La Carrière, with its concentrated “liquid minerality,” effectively reflects its mountainous origin.
The signature of this vineyard remains its terroir-driven minerality. Aromas of pastry, lily, hazelnut and sweet pear alongside accents of mandarin orange, honey, acacia and vanilla complete the elegant bouquet. Citrus oils, white peach and lemon highlight the minerality. The magnificent concentration and elegance on the palate sculpt the structure of this wine, offering intensity and richness. It's bright acidity and minerality will allow it to age well for two decades.
Harvested: September 9, 2012 to September 29, 2012
100% naturally fermented using native yeast
100% barrel fermented in French oak from artisan coopers
Barrel aged sur lies 11 months with weekly bâtonnage
Bottled unfined and unfiltered February 1, 2014
Alcohol: 15.5 %; Release Date: April 1, 2014