Vintage 2015
Wine Type White
Varietal Chardonnay
Region Carneros
Winemaker Jon Priest

Combining well-drained, rocky upland soils with the extreme western location closer to San Pablo Bay, make the cooler Grace Benoist Ranch vineyard site an ideal place to grow Burgundian varieties such as Chardonnay.

Clones 17, 124, 277, 548, 76, Heirloom selections

90 Points - Wine Enthusiast

“This likable white is made in a light vibrant style, utilizing only neutral oak. Apricot fuzz and mellow toast ride along a thick acid-driven road of green apple skin, melon and fig.” - Virginie Boone, April 2018

Tasting Notes

From six special acres in the heart of the Grace Benoist Ranch, our estate Chardonnay is iconic, representing all that is memorable about Carneros. Vibrant yet elegantly restrained, the wine is crafted as a showcase for the fruit, without malolactic fermentation and the lightest touch of oak. Aromas and flavors of classic Chardonnay signatures—including Bartlett pear and crisp green apple—are joined with lemon zest, citrus blossom and mineral notes. A solid acid backbone, with great structure and balance, are the hallmark of this wine each vintage.

Vineyard Notes

Vineyard blocks are individually managed to conform to various soil types and the changing contours of the topography. Individual vineyards within Grace Benoist Ranch average only eight acres in size and spacing is dense to ensure low per vine yields of fully concentrated fruit. As stewards of the property, Etude remains steadfast in our commitment to adhere to sustainable agricultural practices that enable us to farm in concert with the surrounding environment. Wildlife corridors, raptor roosts and owl boxes are abundant throughout the Ranch.

Vintage Notes

After three years of plentiful harvests, the 2015 vintage brought low, but outstanding yields. A mild spring and summer with almost no rain allowed the fruit to ripen at a very steady and deliberate pace, and picking began a few days earlier than 2014. The drier-than-normal conditions and abundant sunshine contributed to the smaller berry size and low yields, resulting in wines with excellent concentration, color and flavor.

Winemaking Notes

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 lees for the initial two months of aging to enhance aromatics and increase mid-palate texture. Our Chardonnay is crafted to showcase the unique terroir of Grace Benoist Ranch and did not go through malolactic fermentation in order to capture the natural acidity and beauty of cool-climate Carneros Chardonnay.