Established in 2003, Bennet Valley is one of the more recently recognized appellations in Sonoma County. Over 650 acres are planted in this region, situated southeast of Santa Rosa between Sonoma Valley and Cotati. This region is heavily influenced by the cooling influences of the Petaluma Gap and is perfectly situated for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
2016 was, overall, a winemaker’s vintage. After a relatively warm spring and early summer, hot weather subsided, and temperatures were cool, even, and consistent from August to November. Nights were especially chilly, giving the vines a welcome reprieve and adding to the brightness, energy, and freshness of the vintage.
This bottling’s rich golden straw color sets the stage for a lush and complex Chardonnay. On the nose, baked Gravenstein apples dominate, complete with warm baking spices, browned butter, marzipan, and toasted shortbread. A hint of floral and lemon zest lifts the rich tones and brings balance to the aromas. The palette holds a tremendous amount of freshness through Meyer Lemon, pear skin and a hint of honeydew before secondary (and warmer) notes of baking spice and toasted sourdough emerge. The acidity is incredibly vibrant and juicy (the product of such a long and cool ripening season), bringing wet rock and a lovely salinity to the finish.
Production: 146 Cases Varietal Composition: 100% Chardonnay, Robert Young Clone Appellation: Bennett Valley Vineyard: Simpatico Vineyard Alcohol: 14.2% Fermentation and Storage: 100% Barrel Fermented, 30% new oak, French and Hungarian barrels. mL Complete Harvest: October 01, 2016 Bottled: July 2017 Release Date: May 2020