Hess Napa Chardonnay 2016
We take care in farming the Su'skol vineyard in order to develop fruit with bright acidity and balance, and to showcase the impact of the moderate temperatures influenced by nearby San Pablo Bay. We choose to focus on the aromatic and delicate musqué clone, which requires a light touch with both oak and malolactic fermentation. To highlight this beautiful clonal material, we put 70% of the blend through stainless fermentation to retain fresh flavors of pear and nectarines, and preserve the wine's natural acidity. So as not to overwhelm the blend, the remaining 30% sees just a light touch of oak-9% new (French) oak-and only 30% of the overall blend is allowed to undergo secondary fermentation. Aged for 9 months in barrels and lees stirred weekly for 4 months, results in a textured and viscous wine that offers aromas of jasmine and honeysuckle, complemented by stone fruit flavors enveloped in smooth, creamy notes of vanilla and lemon merangue.
Wine Spectator Aromatic spiciness dominates this lively white, which is reminiscent of a dry Riesling. Gooseberry notes and dried savory flavors linger into the finish. Drink now. 21,700 cases made.