2018 Russian River Valley Chardonnay
The nose of this Russian River Valley chardonnay blend of the Hopkins Ranch and Willowside Vineyard jumps out of the glass showing strong notes of vanilla, toasted oak with tropical notes of pineapple, kiwi and stone fruits. Once on the palate, white nectarine dances on the tongue with background notes of green apple and creamy oak with nice bright acidity and subtle nuances of baked peaches. This wine finishes with a green apple crispness, beautiful notes of creamy toasted oak and an acidity screaming to be paired with food.
Fruit Source: Hopkins Ranch and Willowside Vineyard RRV Blend
Both vineyards bring their own special component on how this wine expresses Russian River Valley. Willowside Vineyard sits on a valley floor and is engulfed by long periods of fog, helping it retain a nice acid level and expressing green apple and citrus tones. Hopkins Ranch is in northern reach Russian River Valley and taking in plenty of sun exposure, showcasing the melon, nut character, and peach tones that round this out to a wine that drinks like a white burgundy. Aged in oak barrels and aged sur lee help round out the mid palate and create structure.
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 will then age the wine on the lees for the next six months, stirring once a month 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.