Hook & Ladder Estate Bottled Chardonnay 2022, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley, California

Cecil De Loach has been farming Russian River Valley Chardonnay for over 30 years. The coastal fog that covers these vineyards on the rolling hills allows the grapes to ripen slowly, and give the flavors time to develop. The grapes are crushed and de-stemming immediately to press, then the juice is fermented in French oak barrels. While in barrel, the wine goes through a malolactic fermentation that naturally creates a light buttery flavor and smooth mouth feel. While on its lees the wine is hand stirred in barrel once a month, and topped twice a month for eight months. This process develops an additional complexity of flavors and aromas. Winemaker Jason De Loach Notes: “Displaying colors of goldenrod, this 2021 Chardonnay elicits a bouquet of floral notes, honey, green apple and light butterscotch. The flavors exhibit subtle, creamy, Gravenstein apple with a touch of nectarine and guava on the finish.” – winery