Bright notes of Meyer lemon and honey-crisp apple mingle with quince preserve and warm, spiced
pear in our 2015 Carneros Chardonnay. Subtle nuances of honeysuckle and sweet almond are
slowly revealed as you swirl the wine in your glass. On the palate, the full, beautifully balanced
flavors mirror the aromas and then culminate in a crisp and creamy, lemon-custard finish.
We selected all of the grapes from our Beaulieu Vineyard Ranches No. 9 and No. 8, where the
vines, grafted to Dijon clones 95 and 76, yield small, intensely flavored berries. These
Chardonnay vineyards are located in the cool, windy Los Carneros American Viticultural Area
(AVA) at the southernmost tip of Napa Valley. The region’s shallow clay loam soils and
marine-influenced climate foster ripe, beautifully balanced Chardonnay expression.
Although Napa Valley received 75 percent of its normal rainfall in 2015, the cumulative
effect of four years of drought—plus a cold streak in May that caused uneven fruit
set—resulted in a very light crop. Winter was short, with warm soil temperatures beginning in
January and promoting early budbreak. The small clusters and dry, warm ripening conditions
resulted in one of the earliest harvests on record in Napa Valley. The condensed crushing of
all varieties kept us hopping, however we were rewarded by wines with concentrated flavors.
We hand harvested the Chardonnay into small bins at night and rushed them to our winery. After
gently pressing the whole clusters, we barrel fermented all of the wine in small oak barrels for
layers of flavor and texture complexity.