2018 Manchester Ridge Chardonnay
With the cool climate in Manchester, we accumulate high levels ofacidity that remain in the finished product. The balance between the round oak characters and bright fruit flavors give a unique experience commonly found in Burgundy. With ripe peach, almond butter, hazelnut, on the nose. Mango, vanilla bean, honey crisp apple, starfruit, lemon slice and nutmeg on the palate. This wine is sure to go well with summer months and served chilled. This wine develops and opens up in glass with a little air and expresses a beautiful sense of terroir.
This is a very special vineyard. It is located in the remote AVA of Mendocino Ridge in Mendocino County in the North Coast of California. The location is rugged and accessible only by timber-flanked logging roads that climb to 2058 feet elevation. There are 29.86 planted acres of a potential 78 +/- total plantable acres. Of the acres that are planted, 18.7 +/- are Pinot Noir and 8.5 +/- are Chardonnay. The vineyard sits above the coastal fog at 2200 feet elevation just west of Anderson Valley where the warm days and cool nights increase the hang time for the ripening of the fruit and it comes in almost a full month later than our valley vineyards. To us, this is a hidden gem and this AVA has been described as California’s best kept secret source of spectacular wines.
This vintage started off cooler than the previous few vintages. Despite having a warm February, the cooler weather set in and provided a wonderfully cool spring. The bloom lasted longer than usual and provided for consistent fruit set throughout the vineyards. The summer temperatures were moderate and allowed veraison to start later than previous vintages. There was a cooling trend in late July that meant we avoided the typical late summer heat spikes that drove an early and compressed harvest the previous two vintages. As a result, harvest started 2-3 weeks later than previous years, but was really back to normal where it should be. The grape development and maturation took extra time with the cooler weather with vineyards thinning fruit more times than in previous years. Slower ripening and cooler weather typically provides higher quality fruit and we are already seeing the benefits in the cellar with fully mature, sweet tannins, outstanding color and brightness, depth of fruit, naturally beautifully balanced wines. Due to an ideal growing season the 2018 vintage is already showing its potential for greatness.
Fruit is hand-picked early in the morning and delivered to the winery nice and cold. The fruit is then placed whole cluster into a bladder press and pressed gently for 3 hours to a stainless-steel tank for a one-day cold soak. We then rack the juice off the hard lees straight to barrels and ferment in barrel where the soft sediment will continue to mix throughout fermentation increasing mouth feel. We then age the wine on the lees, stirring once a month for the first 4 months to help build weight and structure on the palate.
Bailarín Cellars was created in 2014 by a collective of family and friends, each following their respective passions. Together we focus on producing small lots of handcrafted wines from unique vineyard sources. We are proud to share the fruits of our labor and love with you.