Bell Wine Cellars Chardonnay

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nvCHR.jpg

Bell Wine Cellars Chardonnay

1.00

Sub Region NAPA

Vinification Grapes were gently crushed directly to press, settled, racked, inoculated with M2 yeast and cold fermented to retain the full varietal character of grapes. Seventeen percent of the wine was chilled and racked to barrel (3% of which were new) at 16 degrees Brix, where it completed fermentation in the barrel and was aged on the yeast lees (sur lies) for 5 months, without stirring. The barrel-fermented portion of the wine underwent malo-lactic fermentation. The remaining balance of the wine (86%) was cold fermented and aged in stainless steel and has not undergone malolactic. The wine was cold stabilized, bentonite fined and filtered prior to bottling. The 2007 growing season was a wonderful year for grape growing. Overall, it was a very dry, cool. Winter temperatures were warmer than normal into spring resulting in earlier budding, bloom and set in the vineyards across all varieties. Few days in summer topped 100 degrees, fewer days in the 90s than normal, and this meant less irrigation, allowing the grapes to mature naturally and slowly. A brief heat spike around Labor Day added the boost of sugar development that growers were looking for to complement the excellent acid structure developed in the white varieties. Harvest commenced in mid-August and was evenly paced. With wines of incredible intensity and concentration, 2007 looks to be the best vintage in many years.

Aging 14% barrel (5 mos), 86% tank, 17% malo-lactic, 3% new oak

Tasting Notes More European in style than Californian, restrained use of oak and limited lees stirring during aging allows the tropical and citrus fruit flavors to flourish. This wine is an excellent bridge between the crisp, unwooded Southern Hemisphere style and the rich, oaky, buttery style of California. Vanilla aromas, sweet oak flavors and a subtle cream texture from the sur lies aging and malo-lactic fermentation, give the wine a delicious mouthfeel and lengthy finish while the tank ferment portion keeps the wine bright, crisp and lively. Crisp and refreshing on the palate, this delicious food wine is a delightful accompaniment to a broad spectrum of dishes, or, served slightly chilled, as an aperitif.

 

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