Beaulieu Vineyard was among the first wineries to create world-class Chardonnay from the Carneros region of Napa Valley. The rich, shallow Carneros soils and cool breezes from the San Pablo Bay are perfectly suited to create exceptional Chardonnay wines. "I am pleased to carry forward this tradition of excellence by crafting this wine, which displays vibrant peach and nectarine while soft oak tones add complexity to the lingering finish." - Jeffrey Stambor, Winemaker Tasting Notes Our 2016 Carneros Chardonnay offers vibrant aromas of Meyer lemon citrus, ripe stone fruit, pear blossom and notes of candied ginger. This full-bodied wine is palate coating with layers of creamy lemon, crisp red apple, sweet almond flavors and a kiss of spice. The oak is a pleasant backdrop supporting the core of bright fruit underpinning the overall structure of the wine. The inviting aromas, flavors, rich texture and persistent acidity shows a well-integrated wine that slowly reveals its complex nature with every swirl and sip from the glass. Vineyard Notes We selected all of the grapes from our Beaulieu Vineyard Ranches No. 9 and No. 8, where the vines, grafted to Dijon clones 95 and 76, yield small, intensely flavored berries. These Chardonnay vineyards are located in the cool, windy Los Carneros American Viticultural Area (AVA) at the southernmost tip of Napa Valley. The region’s shallow clay loam soils and marine-influenced climate foster ripe, beautifully balanced Chardonnay expression. Vintage Notes Good rainfall during the winter helped ease California’s ongoing drought. A dry spring with warm temperatures and no frost led to early budbreak. With groundwater at good levels from the winter rains the vines had plenty of water to soak up during the dry, relatively even growing season. Harvest started about 2 weeks earlier than average and conditions were mild with no heat spikes or rains to interfere. The overall grape yields were average with high quality fruit offering great concentration of flavors and good acidity levels. Winemaking Notes We harvested the Chardonnay into small bins at night and rushed them to our winery. After gently pressing the whole clusters, we barrel fermented all of the wine in small oak barrels for layers of flavor and texture complexity. Stirring the yeast during 10 months of aging enhanced the silky mouthfeel, and integrated creamy nuances from partial malolactic fermentation. A small amount of fragrant Viognier adds enticing floral nuances to the fruity aromas.