||August 25, 27, September 2, 4, & 8th, 2015
A warm February and March lead to early bud break in 2015. The warm winter transitioned to May temperatures that were actually colder than temps in January and February. These cold temperatures at bloom delayed flowering and fruit set was compromised. The poor set resulted in yields being reduced by as much as 50% in some of our vineyards. The summer weather can be characterized by cool nights and foggy morning and resulted in veraison that was 1 to 2 weeks ahead of 2014. The harvest was our earliest on record for Benovia and ended quickly due to the low yields. The Chardonnay is now sourced principally from our Martaella Estate Vineyard. We have planted heirloom clones of Chardonnay that retain bright acidity and express beautiful floral and mineral notes. The low-fertility soils and the cool temperatures, in this part of the Russian River Valley, unite to form an ideal place for growing Chardonnay.
The fruit was harvested at night and then rigorously hand sorted before whole-cluster pressing. After settling overnight, the juice was fermented in barrel with indigenous yeast. Barrel fermentation and oak aging for 12 months have added hints of toasted almond, and spice cake to a subtle minerality on the finish.