WindVane was created as an homage to the wind that contributes to the unique character of the wines of Western Carneros. After working with the same vineyards for years, winemaker Steven Urberg was intrigued by some of the windiest vineyard blocks on the estate. The wines coming from these wind-blown vines are concentrated with great depth of fruit and a generous mouthfeel. WindVane is selected from the most expressive parcels throughout our 335 acres of estate vineyards in the Carneros region of Northern California. Our unique property has an East facing exposure with a mountain range directly alongside the West side of the vineyards. The mountains provide altitude, shallow rocky soils, shade from the intense afternoon sun and they also serve to funnel the intense Pacific Coast breezes directly onto the vineyards. We select vines from the steepest, rockiest areas of the vineyards where the soils are very thin and the vines are challenged throughout the growing season. They face the natural elements of a cooler marine layer in the mornings and afternoons, and intense wind which results in small crops of very slow ripening fruit that produce intense character.
On the nose, peach and tropical pineapple are supported by toast and brioche. The fruit gains intensity in the mouth bringing some ripe apple to the full mouthfeel. This Chardonnay is complex and rich, balanced with bright acidity which leads into the long crisp finish.
The crisp acidity and stone fruit flavors of this unique chardonnay compliments a variety of dishes. Peach on the palette combined with delicate oak pair with grilled peaches with spiced crème fraiche. From the grill try jerk spiced pork tenderloin with pineapple and jalapeño salsa or grilled sweet corn with chipotle lime butter and Cotija cheese.
Chardonnay grapes, from individual vineyard blocks, were carefully hand harvested at night into small 30lb picking boxes in order to bring the fruit into the winery intact and cold. The grapes were then gently whole-cluster pressed and transferred to a stainless steel tank for cold settling. The racked juice was inoculated and transferred, for barrel fermentation, into French oak barrels (25% new) in our barrel caves. About 31% of the wine was allowed to undergo malolactic fermentation to soften the bright acidity of our Estate Chardonnay. The barrels were stirred (battonage) to mix the lees and build the supple mouthfeel of the wine during monthly toppings. The wine rested for 9 months in barrels prior to bottling.