Stony Hill Chardonnay (750ml)
Fred and Eleanor McCrea first stumbled across the property that would become Stony Hill Vineyard in the early 1940s. By 1943, they had made the rugged hillside spot on Spring Mountain their home and in 1952 had their first harvest. The couple loved white Burgundy and would have planted the entire property to Chardonnay, but viticulture advisors from the University of California recommended they diversify.
The original Chardonnay cuttings came from the Wente vineyard in Livermore in 1948 (though replanting has occurred since that time). Since the first vintage, these wines have stood the test of time and ever changing palates. Stony Hill wines have always been very elegant and restrained and pair well with food.
The 2014 Chardonnay is an exciting wine. Dry farming methods and three years of drought conditions created concentrated fruit at harvest leading to deep flavours. In the glass expect mineral and river stone notes, along with citrus blossom, white flowers and lemon zest. On the palate, it is clean and crisp with hints of green apple and a vibrant, dancing acidity. It has a lovely lingering finish.
The grapes are sourced from hillside vineyards and are intense in flavour while retaining notable acidity. The resulting wines are balanced, well structured and have lots of aging potential. Stony Hill Chardonnays are some of the most respected and highly-sought-after California wines. Their style is best described as lean, bright, elegant and food friendly. To achieve this style the grapes are pressed with minimum skin contact and fermented in neutral oak. After fermentation, the wine is racked off the lees, in order to avoid the development of yeasty notes in the wine and then aged in neutral oak barrels (over ten year old barrels so there is no oak aroma or flavour). This wine does not undergo malolactic fermentation in order to maintain the primary acid structure of the wine and preserve the citrus and apple character.