The best vintages for Chardonnay always seem to be signaled in the spring by an abundance of Golden Poppies. The propitious Poppies cover the hillsides around the vineyard just about the time the vines start pushing leaves and the berries are small dots on bright green stems. Grapes for this Chardonnay were harvested off the Hillside Vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation, which is located in the Central Coast of California. Grapes were delivered direct to press with no crushing. After 24 hours of cold settling, the juice was clean racked into 3 component programs…stainless steel tank fermentation, small barrel fermentation, and middle road stainless program with French oak, lees stirring. From these programs, the final blend was assembled reflecting 80% aged on oak with 40% fermented in small barrels and 30% stainless steel only, non-oaked. This focused, elegant Chardonnay’s aromas feature sweet golden apple, ripe citrus, tropical fruit and almond with touches of creamy yeast, vanilla and oak in the background. On the plate, the rich flavors are complemented by a light touch of toasty oak and refreshing citrus with mineral notes and bright acidity in the finish.