Picked on my son’s birthday, September 21st, the Autumnal equinox, Sojeau Chard got the vintage started after a several weeks of cooler than average and wet weather. Our whole cluster pressing included filling a new barrel directly from the press pan, a barrel that anchors this blend as 25% of the total. After a day in tank settling, the remaining juice went to barrels with virtually all available lees, where fermentation instigated with ambient yeasts. Alcoholic fermentation lasted 30-45 days, with the malolactic conversion entirely complete by February. The wines aged on their lees in barrel until early September when they were racked to tank to spend the remaining four and half months of life in stainless steel before gentle filtration and then bottling on January 20, 2021.
Full of tension in the nose and on the palate, Sojeau Chardonnay has a long life of unravelling ahead. Intense aromatic pop, almost a spicy quality, with lemon oil, pineapple, orchard fruits and floral accents all competing. The wine sheds layers in the glass to reveal new details, from the more overt and cool fruits to savory, baked cakes and breads, back to austere tones with salty lime edges. The compact palate delivers a tense core, with finely balanced acidity in perfect balance to create “tug” and length. This is dense and concentrated wine for such moderate alcohol, with phenolic structure adding persistence that carries the citrus twist and laser focus on and on and on and on and on…..and then the bottle disappears. Graceful and powerful at once.