Sequoia Grove Napa Valley Chardonnay is meticulously hand harvested and, upon arrival at the winery, immediately whole cluster pressed to tank where it is cold settled and racked 24 hours later to another tank to begin fermentation. As the fermentation progresses, the tank is barreled down in stages. The first stage gets the most barrel extraction. The second stage is a combination of barrel extraction and fruit flavors. The third stage, at lower brix, preserves the fresh fruit characteristics. The wine finishes primary fermentation in 100% French oak barrels. The wine is aged for 10 months on the lees where it undergoes battonage (lees stirring) every two weeks, as each lot demands. For the first time for Sequoia Grove, because of the very high acidity given by the growing season, this wine went through 7% secondary malolactic fermentation to balance the palate. This Chardonnay is sourced from four vineyards: long-time Napa Valley growers Jim Haire (Carneros) and Joe Ghisletta (Carneros), in addition to Cunat (Oak Knoll), and a new vineyards source for us: Tula Vista (Carneros). Jim Haire grows old Wente clone, whose small clusters pack concentrated, tropical flavor, and Robert Young clone, known for a lemon, lime character. Joe Ghisletta grows Dijon clone 76 which gives stone fruit character. Cunat grows Dijon clone 95 and 96, which also gives stone fruit and melon character. Tula Vista is clone 17, also known for lemon, lime character.

90 Points
Wine Enthusiast
2018 vintage
90 Points
Jeb Dunnuck
2018 vintage
Harvest Note
The 2018 vintage was late, long, and large. The year started out with heavy winter rains and cool, spring weather, resulting in late bud break to start the season. Good weather during flowering contributed to even set and ripening. The weather was steady and ideal throughout the growing season without any of the usual heat spikes that were signatures of the past 5 vintages. This mild weather allowed for excellent growing conditions for Chardonnay, resulting in beautifully ripened grapes with fresh fruit character, moderate alcohol and balanced acidity.
Tasting Note
The nose draws you in immediately with tropical, pineapple guava character followed by a floral note, flinty, with lemon zest, custard, honeysuckle, pound cake on the palate, finishing with a saline component. The palate walks the line between generous fruit and zippy acidity. The finish is energetic and with hints of toasted nuts and fresh cream.
Technical Data
GRAPES: 100% Chardonnay
APPELLATION: Napa Valley - 57% Oak Knoll, 43% Carneros
PH: 3.51
ACIDITY: 6.9 g/L
ABV: 14.1%
AGING: Aged 10 months sur lies. 30% new French oak
Unique Selling Points
  • Inoculated with white Burgundy yeast strains
  • No malolactic fermentation is allowed, to preserve fresh, bright acidity in the wine
  • Grapes come from cool climate sites in Napa Valley, producing a fresh style of wine

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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