Fall Release Charles Heintz Vineyard Isobel Chardonnay
In a similar vein to our 2006 clare bottling, this wine shows tremendous initial richness, yet has impressive tautness that, at the time of writing, holds the wine's full expansion in check. The product of a low cropping year with significant botrytis activity, the wine's massive natural fruit extract is currently blocking its full progression along the palate, which can be typical of chardonnay from low yielding concentrated harvests. For drinking on release this means an immediate and impressive explosion of pure fruit richness with the accompanying earthier nuances so typical of the vineyard, followed by an oily textured mid-palate, but a back end that is tight and unyielding . This vividly reminds me of our wonderful 2002 Isobel bottling which blossomed after a year or two of aging into a powerful and beautifully persistent chardonnay that stands amongst the finest wines we've ever released. I recall at the time comparing the 2002 wine to an Alsace Grand Cru Riesling, specifically a late-harvested (Vendange Tardive) style…and this comparison also rings true in this instance. Hence, I recommend patiently holding the wine for at least a year before experimenting and I look forward to receiving your findings.
Deep green-gold color. Explosive aromas of orange oil, apricot and smoke with flinty, truffle-oil complexity. Honeyed pear and lemon deepen to richer tropical fruits and grilled almonds. Great density on the mid-palate yet the wine remains tightly coiled with brooding power in reserve. Firm acidity on the rich, nutty finish. Gently decant off its natural sediment immediately prior to serving to capture the wine's building richness and drink over 3 to 5 years. Serve no cooler than 55 degrees.
Age of Vines at Harvest
Barrel aged sur lie for 16 months in 50% new French oak
324 cases of 750mL
16 cases of 1.5L
10 bottles of 3L