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© 2019 Z. ALEXANDER BROWN WINES, NAPA, CA
Honey-colored in the glass, Z. Alexander Brown Chardonnay exudes bright aromas of White peach, floral orange blossom with hints of honey and baking spice. A rich, velvety mouthfeel is supported by core flavors of juicy stone fruit, vanilla and toasted oak. These complex, layered flavors extend into the finish. This Chardonnay is well-balanced and full bodied with a bright acidity, making it a perfect pairing with a wide range of fare.
– Winemaker, John Killebrew
The Santa Lucia Highlands is a cool climate highly regarded for producing complex and intense Chardonnays. This year was no exception with the fruit ripening slowly all summer, finally being picked in the first two weeks of October. After several years of drought we finally had above average rains, which rinsed the soils and lead to healthy, early season canopy development. The growing season started out on the cooler side but by August, temperatures had climbed to about average, which pushed harvest right along. This season produced very concentrated flavors, yielding complex and beautifully balanced wines.
Throughout the growing season, winemaker John Killebrew visited each vineyard block regularly until he determined the right moment to harvest. The grapes were harvested in early October at the peak of ripeness. The fruit was quickly transferred to the winery, where it was de-stemmed and gently pressed into either French and American oak barrels or stainless steel tanks. These decisions were determined by the fruit’s flavors and characteristics: leaner lots were fermented in stainless steel to preserve the delicate aromas and retain natural acidity, while the richer lots were transferred to age and ferment on oak. Following primary fermentation, lots underwent either complete or partial malolactic fermentation, depending on the desired acidity levels of the wine. After several months of aging, the final blend was chosen from the best lots of
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