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David Finlayson Chardonnay 2020

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Tasting Notes: David Finlayson needs no introduction, when it comes to Chardonnay. How can we forget his incredible success with this grape when he was at Glen Carlou! This is without question David’s favorite white grape to work with. Vintage conditions in 2020 were perfect. A long cool ripening period produced complex fruit and the dry growing season added depth and richness. This is David’s 13th vintage of Chardonnay here – definitely “lucky for some”! The wine is made from 4 different vineyards including coastal, mountain and valley floor sites. As with previous vintages, the wine shows an elegant minerality with lime-citrus, sourdough and cinnamon flavors. The mineral note helps keep a wonderful grip on the palate, showing good aging potential. There are some distinct similarities to the flavors found in cooler Burgundian and Chablis sites – perhaps most noticeably, Meursault. The focus here is to make elegant wines that work with food.

Winemaker: David Finlayson

Variety: Chardonnay

Cellar: This was a cool, dry vintage. All fruit was hand-picked from 4 blocks planted with French CY95 and California CY 8 and CY 9 clones. Vine age ranges from 20 -30 years and planting density is around 3500 plants per acre. Grapes are harvested in several stages, to provide layers of complexity and blending components (22 Brix up to 25 Brix). Grapes are whole bunch pressed and then fermented in 300 liter barrels – partial inoculation and some with natural yeasts. 30% of the fruit went through malo. Barrel regimen – (French/Alliers/med toast) 10% new, 35% 2nd fill, 45% 3rd fill, 10% concrete egg. Maturation period – 10 months. Wine was stirred twice during elevage in barrel. Prior to bottling under screwcap, the wine was crossflow filtered and fined with via Bentonite and Vegecol. 15,000 bottles were produced.

Accolades

91 pts Tim Atkin

90 pts James Suckling