Joel Gott Santa Barbara Chardonnay 2016
26% 1-year-old and 2-year-old French oak, 13% new French oak
Our 2016 Chardonnay has rich tropical aromas laced with citrus, honey and vanilla. A textured palate shows notes of baked apples, citrus and spice, framed by fresh acidity. A hint of vanilla lingers on the finish.
We selected the fruit for our 2016 Chardonnay from a range of Santa Barbara sites to craft a balanced, expressive wine. The vines at Rita’s Crown Vineyard—a high-altitude, steeply sloped site in the Santa Rita Hills—are planted in calcareous soils, heavily influenced by the marine climate. Extreme growing conditions at Rita’s Crown translate to intense mineral and stone fruit flavors in the wine. Fruit from coastal vineyards within the Central Coast lend mature flavors and nice balance to the blend, while fruit from Santa Maria Valley adds vital minerality and concentration.
Santa Barbara’s long, cool growing season allows the fruit to slowly and evenly ripen which aids in the development of mature fruit flavors, consistency and balance. The fruit for our 2016 vintage was partially hand-picked and gently whole cluster pressed to retain the delicate flavors and varietal character of coastal Chardonnay.
A portion of the wine was barrel fermented in a mixture of old and new French oak. The remainder was fermented in stainless steel tanks to retain the variety’s bright citrus fruit character and balanced acidity. A combination of malolactic fermentation and oak aging lent a round, lush mouthfeel and a touch of vanilla and spice to the blend.