PlumpJack Reserve Chardonnay
WHY WE LOVE IT
- The Chardonnay is sourced from two vineyards in the Napa Valley – one in Los Carneros and the other in St. Helena.
- The cooler Carneros site imparts this wine with lemon zest, green apple, and Bosc pear on the nose, while the warmer St. Helena site lends apricot, melon, and tropical notes.
- The Carneros vineyard also gives this wine a beautiful, bright, lively acidity, which is balanced by the creamy, rich texture of the St. Helena fruit.
Varietal Composition: 100% Chardonnay
Elaboration: Reserve Chardonnay was fermented and aged in 64% stainless steel fermenters and 36% French oak Burgundy barrels. These fermentations were kept cool – 52 to 55 degrees F – to preserve the fresh fruit aromatics. The use of stainless steel also helps to retain the fresh, varietal character, while the oak adds depth and complexity. We do not allow this wine to undergo malolactic fermentation so that we can preserve the vibrant and lively acid on the palate along with the fresh aromatics.
Tasting Notes: The touch of oak adds subtle layers to the nose and palate with traces of toasted almonds, vanilla, caramel, and spice. By foregoing malolactic fermentation, we are retaining the bright, lively malic acid, which helps to accentuate the fruit on the palate, and gives this wine its balance, drive, and length.
Based on a mutual love and passion for wine, Governor Gavin Newsom and composer/philanthropist Gordon Getty opened a wine store with a mission of creating an approachable environment for people to learn about and purchase wine. Newsom and Getty were inspired by one of Shakespeare’s most memorable characters, Sir John “PlumpJack” Falstaff. A down-to-earth, fun-loving, irreverent character, rivaled only by his fierce loyalty to Prince Hal (Henry V), with whom he shares more than a few goblets of sack (wine) at the local tavern. With this philosophy in mind and an opportunity to create their own winery, Newsom and Getty acquired a century-old 42-acre vineyard in the Napa Valley. Dating back to 1881, this property is one of the oldest operating wineries in the Napa Valley, known then as Mount Eden Winery.
Positioned on the eastern side of the Oakville appellation, tucked below the foothills of the Vaca mountain range, their 42-acre estate vineyard is the cornerstone of their winemaking program at PlumpJack Estate Winery. They are extremely fortunate to have several different soil types on the property, giving them the ability to cultivate and blend copious blocks with different flavors and characteristics to craft wines with intriguing complexity.The majority of the estate lies on a rocky, gravelly base that has been coated in alluvial soils that were washed down from the Vaca Mountains. This alluvial fan spilled out across the east side of the estate sharing land rich in volcanic nutrients creating a near-perfect soil composition – the gravelly base provides excellent water drainage, putting more stress on the vines, and the robust volcanic soils create more complex aromatics with structured, concentrated dark fruit character. Moving to the west of the estate, towards the bowl of the Napa Valley, a few different soil variations are present. Here the vines are influenced by sandy loam soils, and it’s this part of our property that we see expressions of raspberry, cherry, mint and the quintessential Oakville component, sage. The last part of the estate, the west most portion, lies in the Napa River flood zone and is predominantly clay based. This particular soil and corridor of the property does not drain as well as the west side of the property. It is for this reason that they have planted a couple rows of Sauvignon Blanc and Viogner, all of which thrive here with the extra dosage of water.
Today, Winemaker Aaron Miller and his team continue the winemaking heritage at PlumpJack Estate Winery by producing elegant wines that pay tribute to the Oakville estate vineyard and that has earned critical-acclaim.