Chardonnay, ‘Hyde Vineyard’, Ramey Cellars
Hyde Vineyard is situated on gently rolling slopes of the Carneros District, on the Napa side. Summer temperatures are kept relatively cool by marine air flowing through the Petaluma Gap. Ancient creek beds provide drainage and add a scattering of rocks. The soils are quite heavy Haire Clay Loam about 30 inches deep with impenetrable clay subsoil which limits vine vigor and crop yield. Clonal Selection Wente, Robert Young and Long field selections. The Ramey Wine Cellars blocks of Chardonnay were planted in 1991 and 1997.
Growing Season Winter 2015 was the warmest on record, resulting in early budbreak. Cooler, wetter weather in spring months slowed development, however, leading to a challenging, extended bloom period. The resulting uneven fruit set translated to a small crop and smaller berries with very concentrated flavors. The early budbreak resulted in an equally early harvest.
We press whole grape clusters for phenolic delicacy. Native yeast and full native malolactic fermentation take place in barrel, with sur lies bâtonnage. After aging 20 months in 22% new François Frères French oak barrels, this Chardonnay was fined and settled in tank. It was then bottled without filtration.