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Fall Release Hyde Vineyard Clare Chardonnay

Winemaker’s Notes

Our east-facing hillside block of Wente chardonnay at Hyde Vineyard ripened quickly during the early September harvest heat wave. The flavors matured rapidly so we had to be diligent to harvest before richness became excess. Fortunately under such stress conditions, as is typical, we also witnessed a spike in acidity to balance this ripeness and the result is a new vintage of Clare that is most similar to the 2004 inaugural bottling; a great wine in its own right. The native yeast fermentation was healthy and rapid and as usual the wine was slow to evolve in our new cold cellar. Full malolactic fermentation lasting 7 months has softened the natural tautness of the wine and allowed its multiple layers to unfold.

Similar to 2007, we chose to blend 34% Long selection into the wine, which has added an another layer of texture to the more precise Wente, as well as background notes of honeysuckle and nutmeg and some broad lemon curd sweetness.

The 2004 bottling is close to full maturity, so I would expect this release to gain in texture and weight over a five to seven year drinking window. If you drink this within the first year after release you may wish to gently decant it to allow its full character to emerge.

Pale yellow straw color; immediate aromatic richness with ripe stone fruits, smoke and a suggestion of spearmint. Intense and layered palate with mouth-filling peach and quince flavors that are powerful yet tightly coiled. Excellent balance between density and structure – all elements are integrated and harmonious. Great volume on the mid-palate leading to a fresh savory finish with trademark vibrant acidity offering clarity and focus. Serve no cooler than 55 degrees. Drink between 2011 and 2017.

Andy Smith

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Harvest Date

September 2nd & 8th


Carneros Napa Valley


Wente & Long selections

Age of Vines at Harvest

16 years

Barrel Aging

Barrel aged on the lees for 16 months in 50% new French oak


690 cases of 750mL
24 cases of 1.5L
12 bottles of 3L