With some of the lowest yields in recent memory, 2005 will go down as one of our most successful and demanding vintages. Poor weather throughout California in the spring resulted in poor fruit set and consequently lower yields. The small crop and perfect weather during the prime ripening zone allowed us to harvest perfectly ripe fruit possessing great flavor and structure.
Gist Ranch is our newest Estate Chardonnay site in the Santa Cru Mountains. It lies 14 miles southeast of the winery on a breathtaking ridge at 2200 feet above sea level. We planted this west-facing block to Dijon clone 96 on low-vigor rootstock in soils consisting of fractured sandstone and shale. This combination yields wines that are transparent and reflective of their mountainous and maritime conditions.
We picked this block early in the morning and delivered the cold fruit directly to the press for whole-cluster pressing followed by barrel fermentation. Weekly batonage during the 16 months in French oak barrels (50% new) added flesh and texture to the brilliant spine of acidity and bright mountain fruit. We bottled the wine unfiltered to preserve the magnificent texture and delicate aromatics.
Our ‘05 Gist Chard features an alluring nose of lemon cream, custard and vanilla bean. It has some pear and fresh mint elements on the broad but focused mouth. Fine acidity keeps the long finish fresh and lingering. It drinks well now, but has enough structure and acidity to warrant a few years of bottle age.
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