Vintage 2013
Wine Type White
Varietal Chardonnay
Region Carneros
Winemaker Jon Priest

Etude’s Heirloom Chardonnay, produced from heirloom selections of the variety, is dedicated to the celebration and preservation of plant diversity. Heirloom plants are horticultural treasures that have been handed down from generation to generation for centuries. Similar to its counterpart, Etude’s Heirloom Pinot Noir, this Chardonnay exemplifies the singular, superior wines – unusually expressive, concentrated and pure – that issue from original varieties or vine selections chosen for the inherent wine quality they produce. Winemaker Jon Priest has always admired the Chardonnay from the Heirloom selections for its elegance, balance and minerality, and this small bottling highlights these unique selections.

Planted during the initial development of the Grace Benoist Ranch in 2000, the grapes for our Heirloom Chardonnay come from shy-bearing selections that produce small bunches and even smaller berries. Extremely low yields are typical of these unique vines, but the resulting wines are both expressive of their origins and the unique and varied site on which they’re grown. The Chardonnay vineyards at Grace Benoist Ranch have deep, well-drained loamy soils, ideal for growing this cool climate varietal.

Winemaker Tasting Note

Compelling and complex, the 2013 Heirloom Chardonnay offers lush flavors of lemon chiffon, quince and white peach with lifted floral notes of honeysuckle. The elegant fruit remains persistent throughout and is powerful in its freshness. Twenty percent new French oak imparts structure and toasted almond and spice notes rather than an obvious influence, letting the depth of fresh fruit and thread of minerality linger on the long finish.

299 cases produced.

About the Vintage

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.