The aromatics reveal the signature minerality of the vineyard between layers of pear, honeydew melon and white peach notes. Framed by balanced acidity and lightly toasted oak, the palate is full, lush and leads to a long, elegant finish.
93 POINTS - WINE SPECTATOR:
A classy wine that's sleek and stylish. Ripe, intense and fleshy, with lively green apple, pear, butterscotch and cream notes leading to a smooth, silky texture and a long, integrated finish. Drink now through 2011. J.L.
90 POINTS - WINE ENTHUSIAST:
Slightly nutty and toasty, but the wood inï¬‚uence is relatively subtle, leaving the main stage to melon and citrus flavors. Plump and slightly buttery, but turns elegant and understated on the finish. -NOVEMBER, 2006
2003 Chardonnay Tech Sheet
This is not a typical California Chardonnay but reflects a more Burgundian sensibility. The 2003 Fort Ross Chardonnay is a testament to the slow ripening vintage from which it was born, modulated by the cool coastal climate of the vineyard. The aromatics reveal the signature minerality of the vineyard between layers of succulent fruit, predominantly pear, honeydew melon and white peach. Framed by balanced acidity, the palate is full, lush and leads to a long, elegant finish.
The grapes for this Chardonnay were handpicked in the cool early morning hours in 5 gallon buckets. Once at the winery, the fruit was whole cluster pressed and allowed to settle for 24 hours. Then the juice went to a mixture of 33% new and 67% 1 and 2 year old French oak barrels for alcoholic and malolactic fermentation. After 15 months of maturation in the barrels, the 2003 Chardonnay was bottled in the spring of 2005.
Following the near perfect vintage of 2002, 2003 lived up to the challenge and provided Fort Ross with wonderfully ripe Chardonnay. Due to the vineyard's marine-moderated climate, the Chardonnay easily weathered 2003's heat waves and ripened slowly and evenly into late October.