2015 Russian River Valley Chardonnay
River Road Ranch
The drought conditions were all that was talked about for most of the year in 2015. Early dry conditions lead to an early bud break. The growing season was warm, dry and for most of the period, mild. It was the early bud break and relatively light crop that made 2015 one of the earliest harvests on record. It was certainly the earliest harvest for Trione as we began bringing in grapes for sparkling on August 12th and finished with the last of the Flatridge Zinfandel the first week of October.
Time honored, traditional and hand crafted are the words I use to describe my winemaking style. This Chardonnay is selected, row by row and bunch by bunch in our Russian River Ranch vineyard. The grapes are processed as they have been since the development of the wine press. The whole bunches of grapes are placed into the press and gently squeezed to extract the juice. The juice is then cold settled with no additions made. After 24-36 hours of cold settling the juice is transferred to 100% French oak barrels in which 35-45% are new. The remaining 60-65 % of the barrels are one and two years old. A special mix of the previous vintage’s lees is added to the juice as well as a selection of new yeast. 841 cases were produced.
Quince and Honeycrisp apples are the first impressions on the nose. The palate is firm yet yielding with depth and complexity. Yeasty, crusty baguettes come to mind. This wine is youthful but shows great potential for aging beautifully for the next 7-10 years. This may be the most age worthy vintage to date.