2005 Donati Family Vineyard Chardonnay San Benito County
Last edited on 6/27/2008 by Eric
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FACT SHEET INFO
Ideal fruit ripeness is essential to optimum success with Central Coast Chardonnay. At Donati Family Vineyard, this variety is planted on steeply-sloped, southern exposed hills, allowing maximum sunlight to reach the
slowly ripening grapes. The sharp inclines also prevent frost damage by moving cold air downhill during the early Spring when low temperatures can damage tender green shoots. Our Chardonnay blocks are planted in shallow, gravelly loams with limestone deposits.
Picked in late September and early October, the 2005 Chardonnay clusters were plentiful although each had small, loosely-packed berries. They were hand picked in the early morning at 25.1 brix, 3.36 pH and .65 otal
Acidity, then whole cluster pressed. The wine was immediately inoculated with specific yeast strains designed to enhance the natural fruit characteristics.
Using one and two year old French Oak barrels in 80% of the Chardonnay lot, this wine gained tremendous body and texture while imparting delicate levels of oak, from the toasting regime and regular Battonage. The remaining 20% was stainless steel fermented and only allowed to complete partial malolactic fermentation.
The two lots of French Oak and stainless steel were blended just prior to bottling. Also, in an experiment to highlight certain desired aspects of this variety. 5% of the final blend came from the Dijon Clone in Santa Maria Valley’s Byron Vineyard. The final result of the 2005 was promising enough to graft-in a significant amount of Dijon Clone Chardonnay into our existing vineyards in 2006.