2015 Chehalem INOX Chardonnay
Lovely, long and lush! Full ripeness shows creaminess, a little phenolic punctuation, excellent weight and length. At the same time, there is balance and fine, crystalline accents of wet stones, fleshy peach, honeysuckle, green apple and lemon zest. And why was it we thought we needed barrel to give interest to Chardonnay? (Yes, a rhetorical question!)
The 2015 vintage was slightly different in early growing season timing from 2014, but the final effect was the same, big heat, big crop and big expectations. The acids are down, the alcohols are hovering around 14% and the work we did to minimize overextraction resulted in more elegant wines than a hot vintage deserves. Similar to 2014, the fruit was impeccably clean and devoid of disease. Whites look fully ripe, texturally rich and yet balanced. Four progressively warmer vintages, we will just learn to count higher—more heat, more fruit, more, more!