2011 The Nth Degree Chardonnay
This is a beautifully balanced, full-bodied Chardonnay with aromas of ripe apple, apricot and nutmeg that integrate perfectly with flavors of tropical fruit, graham and clove. With crisp acidity and a smooth finish, this is a wonderful example of Livermore Valley Chardonnay.
This wine comes from old Wente and new Wente clones of Chardonnay on the Karl Wente and Herman Wente vineyard blocks that were farmed to The Nth Degree. Each vine received many passes whereby leaves, shoots and clusters were removed to ensure that the only clusters that remained were of the highest quality. The water was managed so that the vines were perfectly balanced with the correct amount of growth to fully ripen the berries for the optimal level of flavor. The grapes were hand harvested into half-ton bins in the early morning.
The wine was barrel fermented for 11 months in a combination of French, Eastern European and neutral oak barrels. 100% malolactic fermentation also took place in the barrel.
The wine was aged sur lie in the same barrels they were fermented in. Battonage was performed weekly to increase mouthfeel and complexity.