2018 Ladera Chardonnay Pillow Road Vineyard
95 Points - The Tasting Panel
The Pillow Road vineyard is located in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County, southwest of the city of Sebastopol, in an area affectionately known as the Sebastopol Hills. Located just 10 miles from the Pacific Ocean and featuring the ideal Goldridge sandy loam soils, the vines at Pillow Road thrive in ideal climatic conditions, yielding beautiful expressions of cool-climate Chardonnay. Planted in 2008, the Pillow Road vineyard features two Chardonnay clones, Old Wente and the aromatic Mt. Eden 809, both of which complement each another in the final blend.
The Chardonnay grapes were harvested during the night to preserve the delicate, fresh fruit characters, then hand sorted and gently whole cluster pressed. After pressing, the juice was cold settled for 24 hours and barrel fermented for complexity. The two clones were kept separate to undergo malolatic fermentation and stirred routinely to enhance the rich and complex palate. The wine was aged sur-lies in 64% new French oak for 15 months then carefully evaluated so only the best barrels of the vintage made the final blend.
Pale gold in color, the 2018 Ladera Chardonnay offers an aromatic charm of honeysuckle and ripe peach with intriguing mix of hazelnut and lemon zest. The juicy palate possesses ripe fruits and a creamy texture, balanced with toasted oak and sleek acidity that provide poise and length.