Neyers Chardonnay 304 2019, Sonoma County, California

This wine is bone dry, loaded with fresh minerality. It’s bright and crisp, with flavors both complex and rich. You might find aromas of white blossoms, or fresh apples and pears with hints of peach pit and bitter almond with an integrated creaminess thanks to judicious lee stirring. “Much of what we look at as characteristic of the 2019 harvest is a result of the dramatic drop in rainfall. A year of average rainfall in the Napa Valley approaches 36 inches. Total rainfall in 2019 was less than half of that, and there was a corresponding impact on the size and timing of the harvest as a result. In 2019, we harvested a Chardonnay crop that was barely 50% the size of the crop in 2018, and most of the grapes were picked a week to ten days earlier than the year before. In small crop years like 2019, we invariably find the wines more concentrated, richer with more ripe fruit flavors of apricot, pear and tropical fruit. In the case of the Larson Vineyard which comprised the bulk of the Chardonnay ‘304’ in 2019, we also saw an increase in the minerality of the wine, as the greater complexity of a dry year is readily apparent as well. We still follow several traditional practices of the Chablis region of France when making this wine – fermenting in a large stainless-steel tank, using native yeast trapped on the skin of the grapes when they’re picked, and lightly circulating the new wine as it ferments in order to keep it in contact with the yeast lees as they develop. The new wine then continues to age several months in the stainless-steel tank, with no wood contact. The result is a wine that is high in natural fruit acid with a low pH, guaranteeing freshness and bright, attractive flavors.”