Vineyard: The grapes for this wine come from a single vineyard located in the southern hills of Scotts Valley, just four miles from the town of Santa Cruz and the Pacific Ocean. The dry-farmed Chardonnay vines on this site were planted in 1998, in sandy soils rich in marine deposits. Surrounded by forests, and featuring a north-south row orientation, these vines yield small, tiny-berried clusters. While this is a very cool vineyard that produces grapes with great acidity, the fruit also achieves lovely ripeness at low sugar levels.
Soil: Sandy soils with marine deposits
Viticulture: Farmed using sustainable and organis methods
Vinification: The berries were broken prior to pressing the grapes were fermented in a combination of concrete egg and 500-liter French oak puncheons.
Aging: This wine was aged for 16 months in neutral/seasoned barrels and 500-liter puncheons, with 25% total new oak.
Production: 148 cases
Notes: This is a beautifully intricate Chardonnay, with zesty minerality and enticing layers of green apple, Meyer lemon, brioche, beeswax and honeysuckle. On the palate, the flavors are framed by a dynamic undercurrent of cool-climate acidity. While it has both nerve and energy, there is also an inviting creaminess to this wine, that offers a lovely counterpoint, while helping to draw the flavors to lingering finish.
Publication: View from the Cellar – John Gilman
This is the first chardonnay from Leo Steen, who has made quite a name for himself for his dry, Vouvray-like chenin blanc bottlings. The wine is fermented with indigenous yeasts and is raised in a combination of cement eggs and puncheons, with twenty-five percent of the oak new. The wine offers up a vibrant nose of lemon, pear, salty soil tones, a hint of butter and a gently floral topnote. On the palate the wine is crisp, full-bodied and nicely soil-driven, with a good core, fine focus and grip and a long, primary and well-balanced finish. Good juice that will be even better with a year or two in the cellar to blossom fully. 2017-2030.