2012 Napa Valley Chardonnay
Nose In the glass, the 2012 Chardonnay bursts with aromas of ripe peach, green apple, and honeydew. Next comes a touch of vanilla, lavender and orange blossom, with an underlying note of star jasmine.
Palate The concentration of the wine is evident on the palate: the rich viscosity is cut by bright acid and layers of kiwi, grapefruit, and soft minerality.
Finish The finish is pure bliss with a touch of sweet oak and lemon curd that just doesn’t quit.
Feeling ecstatic understates our reaction when the first Chardonnay grapes came off the vines in early September, three full weeks earlier than the previous year. Devoid of extremes, 2012 will be remembered as a blockbuster vintage. There were no frost events, brutal heat spikes, drying winds, or excessive rains. Just perfect Napa Valley ripening weather. The Roman poet Horace wrote that “In medio stat virtus” (Virtue stands in the middle) and it perfectly applies here. Late rains in March replenished the soils right in time for budbreak, which kicked off a remarkable period of grand growth and ideal maturation. It’s in these vintages – 1997 and 2005 were similar – when the unique characteristics of our vineyards really shine through in the aromatics and flavors of the wines.