In 2016, 91% of the grapes for the Napa Valley Chardonnay came from the cool-climate Carneros District at the southern tip of the valley, with 41% of the fruit from Estate Carneros vineyards. Carneros enjoys a long, cool growing season that fully ripens its grapes while retaining the bright acidity that gives this Napa Valley Chardonnay its freshness and vitality. The other 9% of the fruit came from the Oak Knoll district just north of the city of Napa, a slightly warmer, but still cool-to-mild appellation influenced by evening and morning fog. Blending fruit from the two regions results in a rich, yet elegant and complex wine. Grapes were hand-harvested at night to maximize freshness and varietal intensity, then whole-cluster-pressed, with the free-run juice transferred to French oak barrels for fermentation. Twenty-two percent of the wine was put through a secondary, malolactic fermentation to enrich flavors and texture. The 2016 Napa Valley Chardonnay aged sur lie (on the yeast lees) for eight months in 34% new French oak barrels, with periodic stirring of the lees to add an appealingly creamy, slightly yeasty tone to the wine’s crisp, vibrant fruit flavors.

91 Points
Ken's Wine
2016 vintage
91 Points
2016 vintage
Harvest Note
2016 saw the most abundant rainfall northern California had experienced since 1998. Nevertheless, a warm spring prompted early budbreak and a relatively cool summer, with slow, steady ripening, afforded perfect growing conditions, leading to an early harvest of Carneros Chardonnay grapes boasting terrific flavor concentration coupled with perfectly balanced acidity.
Tasting Note
Bright, creamy, golden apple, white peach, pear and melon aromas, with hints of mineral, yeast and oak spice, introduce rich, full-bodied, apple, pear and melon flavors that persist throughout a lingering finish refreshed by vibrant citrus and mineral tones. With a round, supple texture, superb concentration, great depth, and balanced acidity, the 2016 Napa Valley Chardonnay is a treat now, but it will develop even greater complexity and appeal with 5-7 years’ aging.
Food Pairing
Delicious with chicken, shellfish, seafood and grilled salads
Technical Data
GRAPES: 100% Chardonnay
APPELLATION: 91% Carneros district, 9% Napa Valley
PH: 3.50
ACIDITY: 0.67 g/100ml
ABV: 14.2%
AGING: 8 months sur lie in French oak barrels, 34% new, with periodic stirring of the lees
Unique Selling Points
  • Grapes come from world-famous Carneros appellation in southern Napa Valley.
  • Whole cluster pressed, barrel fermented and aged 8 months in 32% new French Oak,
  • 13% malolactic fermentation for balance of richness, vibrancy and fruit expression.

About the Grape

Though it has a distinctive profile, Chardonnay reflects other factors such as soil composition and vinification technique. Chardonnay is a reliable, hardy and prolific vine whose only real vulnerabilities are frost and uneven development of fruit.
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