The whims of Mother Nature were on full display during the 2017 growing season…marked by ample winter rains, a mild spring, hail in June, and intermittent waves of summer heat. A third and final temperature spike in early September compelled a spirited pick from our hallmark block on Bald Mountain, with the end result being a delightfully delicious chardonnay displaying both richness and resolve. On the nose, the wine expresses notes of star jasmine and citrus, giving way to flavors that tempt the palate with a pleasing panoply of lemon candy, grapefruit zest, tropical fruit, and (wait for it…), a suggestion of bananas foster and crème brulée. Aged 17-months in 30% new French oak, the wine demonstrates a pleasingly light acidity to provide a refreshing counterpoint that balances the wine from start-to-finish. Teasingly inviting but refined in a way that memorable white burgundies can often be, the wine conjures up the dulcet tones of Fleetwood Mac’s sultry singer-songwriter, Christine McVie, who in her memorable hit, “You Make Loving Fun” compelled many of us who “never did believe in the ways of magic” to “…begin to wonder why.”
Bald Mountain, a neighbor of Mount Veeder, is situated in the Mayacamas Mountains on the western border of the Napa Valley. The south-facing vineyard sits at nearly 1600 feet above sea level, and offers stunning views of both the Sonoma and Napa Valleys, as well as of Marin’s Mt. Tamalpais to the south. Cool sunshine is abundant throughout the growing season, allowing the grapes to ripen slowly while varietal character evolves completely.