Hook & Ladder Estate Chardonnay 2019, 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 and additional complexity of flavors and aromas. Winemaker Jason De Loach Notes: “Our 2019 Chardonnay displays a light pale straw color. The aroma has hints of ripe pear and pineapple notes. As you hold this lovely wine in your mouth you get a bit of preserved lemon and apple that melts into a toasty coconut richness.