The Etude Chardonnay is sourced exclusively from our estate vineyard at Grace Benoist Ranch, which is located in the northwest corner of the Carneros appellation. Our Chardonnay vineyards have deep, well-drained cobbly clay loam soils, perfect for growing grapes of exceptional expression. The cooler maritime temperatures at Grace Benoist Ranch provide for a long and even growing season, allowing the fruit to fully ripen in harmony with the vines’ physiological development.
Source: Etude Estate Vineyards at Grace Benoist Ranch, Carneros, Napa Valley
Varietal Composition: 100% Chardonnay
Vinification: Aged 11 months in neutral French oak barrels
Our 2013 Carneros Estate Chardonnay boasts bright, fresh aromas of quince, lemon, honeydew melon and pear. The lush, impressively concentrated fruit is mouthfilling on the palate and adds depth to the wine, but a backbone of minerality and lively acidity keeps it balanced and refreshing.
The Grace Benoist Estate vineyard is farmed to Etude’s exacting standards, using environmentally sound viticultural practices. We grow and ultimately harvest focusing on intensity of flavor, strong varietal delineation and ideal natural balance.
The 2013 vintage began with a warm, dry spring that brought early bud break and created ideal conditions for flowering and fruit set. With no surprises throughout the growing season, temperatures were consistently favorable and even, resulting in notably healthy vines as fruit went through veraison and started ripening. The overall dry season made for a short harvest – one of the earliest and most condensed of recent memory. 2013 was also a bountiful vintage, but we are fortunate that Grace Benoist Ranch is naturally limiting and the resulting yields were balanced.
The fruit for our Carneros Estate Chardonnay was harvested at night and gently whole-cluster pressed before being transferred to neutral French oak barrels for fermentation. The wine was bottled after 11 months of maturation, with a weekly stirring of the yeast lees for the initial two months of aging to enhance aromatics and increase mid-palate weight. Our Chardonnay is crafted to showcase the unique terroir of Grace Benoist Ranch and did not go through malolactic fermentation in order to highlight the natural acidity and beauty of the Chardonnay grape.