Bonita's Hill Chardonnay 2016
Why “Bonita’s Hill”? This selection of a few special barrels is named after my English Springer Spaniel, Bonita, who loves to run up and down the rolling hill where these vines are planted. It is a selection of the See clone from a block that always gives us grapes with a very distinctive personality, so we decided to age and bottle it separately.
The Don Miguel Vineyard: Named after the late patriarch of the Torres family, this sustainable vineyard is located in the Green Valley — the coolest, foggiest region of the Russian River, only ten miles from the Pacific. Planted in the European-style high density of over 2,000 vines/acre, the yields are low and labor intensive; but the vines live longer and the grapes acquire better balance and greater concentration, as well as more elegance and finesse.
The Vinification: The grapes were harvested August 31, whole-cluster pressed and barrel fermented using our own indigenous yeast in 55% new French oak, medium-plus toast, coopered by Damy and Rousseau from the forest of Allier. The wine went through 100% malolactic fermentation, aged on its lees and was bottled, unfiltered, in August 2016.
Tasting Notes: Intensely aromatic, with characteristic See clone notes of lemon, some lichee nut, papaya, and a floral component of fruit blossoms. On the palate it is rich, silky, long and savory, with hints of custard contributed by the lees and the barrel. It will age well for 8-10 years and I would recommend serving it at 46-48° F with elegant seafood dishes, white meats — and a good shellfish Paella!