2012 Terroir Coquerel Chardonnnay
Unlike many of its Napa Valley brethren, this is an extremely well-structured Chardonnay. It’s also surprisingly intense and concentrated. The nose delivers white peach and apricots with just a hint of almonds. The palate is rich and balanced with an undercurrent of wet flint and minerals. The tension between natural acidity and richness makes this a very compelling and unique Chardonnay.
The 2012 season started with a dryer-than-average winter when compared to the previous two years. The last notable rain occurred in April and no frost after bud break was recorded. The fruit set was excellent and consequently we had an abundant crop. This was quite welcome after the extremely low yields of the 2011 vintage. Some thinning was done around veraison to balance the crop load on select vines. The summer was warm, but no heat spikes were recorded. Cool mornings and evenings towards the end of the growing season allowed the fruit to mature properly.
Our 2012 Chardonnay came from a relatively cool site in the Oakville AVA of southern Napa. We harvested in the early morning hours on September 4 to protect the freshness of the fruit. Most of the wine was fermented in French oak barrels (10% new) with the remaining 10% in stainless steel barrels. To retain acidity we did not allow the wine to go through malolactic fermentation. Weekly batonnage for seven months added creaminess to the mid-palate. The wine was bottled in May 2013.