2016 Chehalem Reserve Chardonnay
Our Reserve Chardonnay shows the beautiful balance of fruit, oak, and acid. Aromatically, lemon curd and brioche are elevated by a light hint of vanilla. On the palate, oak presence from barrel age provides an immediate weight and lovely viscosity. The mid palate is cut by a bright minerality and vibrancy that leads to a long finish with tension. Enjoyable now, these characteristics will continue to integrate as the wine ages.
This is the year of Earliest Ever. The winter was warm, budbreak was early and 2016 never looked back—bloom, veraison and harvest, all early records. Harvest began in August and was done before October. Although early, the growing season wasn’t as hot as the prior three, but still the same new warm norm. Fruit is fully ripe but not overripe, moderate alcohols, good enough acids and intense, easily extracted, dense wines, from 15% smaller berry sizes and yields. Potentially an excellent-to-classic vintage.