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My winemaking philosophy which I developed early on in my career is based on the concept that wine is a natural food. As such, the ultimate enjoyment of wine is as a graceful and harmonious accompaniment to a meal, whether it be simple or sublime.

While most of my wines are enjoyable by themselves, it is with food that they really shine, and reveal all of their nuances and textures. To me the best wines have the ability to bring out the best in the food they are paired with and conversely the food brings out the best in the wines.

2012 Chardonnay - Cuvée Diana
Sta. Rita Hills

2012 Chardonnay - Cuvée Diana

Technical Details

100% Chardonnay

Vineyard Sources:
47% Rita's Crown
35% Rancho Santa Rosa
12% Zotovich
6% Fe Ciega

Production: 147 cases
Alcohol by volume: 13.1%
pH: 3.28
Titratable acidity: 0.64 g/100ml
Cellaring potential: Four to six years
Bottle price: $40

Our finest blend of Chardonnay is named after my wife and winery partner, Diana. The blend is composed exclusively of grapes grown within the Santa Rita Hills viticultural appellation. All of the lots were harvested, fermented and aged separately, with the final blend created just before bottling.

The 2012 harvest experienced weather patterns very similar to the 2011 harvest. The mild weather allowed the grapes to ripen slowly, with harvest taking place in three of the four vineyards on September 22nd, with an average sugar content of 22.8 Brix. The grapes were whole cluster pressed and the juice settled for 24 hours before being racked to another tank and barrels for fermentation. The barrels were topped off and the portion of the wine that was fermented in a small tank was racked to barrels for aging. Just 26% of the barrels were new in an effort to preserve the fruit aromas and flavors. After 13 months the wines were blended and prepared for bottling in mid-December 2013.

The wine has a medium gold color with complex aromas of apple, pear, corn meal and brown spices. On the palate the wine is medium bodied with flavors of pears, brown spices and a hint of oak vanillin. The wine has a great balance of fruit and acidity. The finish is crisp and refreshing.

Suggested pairings are pan fried crab cakes, grilled trout in a Meyer lemon butter sauce, warm goat cheese and pear salad and roasted poultry.

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