2017 Hilliard Bruce Chardonnay
Hilliard Bruce Vineyard sits to the north of Hwy 246 in what’s just about the center of the Sta. Rita Hills appellation. The certified sustainably farmed ranch is planted to 16 acres of Pinot Noir and 5 acres of Chardonnay. The vineyard is divided into blocks by soil profile, rootstock, and clone. The vines are very densely planted at 2420 vines / acre.
We started working with Hilliard Bruce when Greg Brewer, a respected colleague and friend, took over the farming operation. We’ve been very pleased with the result of the meticulous farming and special site of the vineyard.
Our Chardonnay was produced by hand picking low brix fruit at night, and rushing it straight to our press in the morning. The fruit was pressed whole cluster directly to old French oak. The juice was allowed to begin fermentation on its own with ambient yeasts. The wine was aged in barrel for nine months with lees stirring performed once a month to build texture and increase mouthfeel.
The resulting wine is high energy with precise and vivid acidity resulting from the sandy soils and cool foggy ocean breezes. Aromas of lemon, vanilla, pear, and white pepper are followed with vibrant flavors of lemon zest, mint, and fig.