The Chateau St. Jean Durell Vineyard Chardonnay is a generous wine with an inviting bouquet of baked apple, lemon custard, and crème brulee. The nose leads to a rich, full-bodied palate where the fruit flavors ring true and are underpinned by spice, fresh baked Brioche and juicy pear flavors. The wine is well-balanced with bright acidity and accented by minerality leading into a long and elegant finish.
The 2016 Chateau St. Jean Durell Chardonnay brings beautiful balance to the glass. Our chardonnay gives you a generous and round mouth feel, often called elegant sensations. Bracing aromas and flavors of pineapple, ripe pear and lemon zest are joined by caramel and pleasant burnt sugar with toasted hazelnut and sweet vanilla spice. A lovely acid backbone, well structured and nicely balanced, the Durell Chardonnay has a long, lingering lemon curd finish.
Classic winemaking techniques of barrel fermentation and sur lie aging are used in crafting this single vineyard Chardonnay. Clonal selection plays an important role in the final blend, with both Clone 5 and Clone 15 being used exclusively. After completing 100 % malolactic fermentation, the wine spent 15 months in 100% French oak barrels (32% new).
The celebrated Durell Vineyard is found in the northwestern corner of Carneros on the Sonoma side of this unique growing region. Durell is strongly influenced by the cooling breezes and morning fog from the nearby San Pablo Bay and San Francisco Bay, and basks in the plentiful afternoon sunshine. Soils here are volcanic and rocky Goulding clay loam, with gently rolling slopes that benefit from both the cool Bay breezes and warmer clime of Sonoma Valley to the north.
The extended drought caused concern as the 2016 growing season began, but welcomed winter rain hinted at the relief to come. After a relatively dry January significant rainfall arrived in February, along with mild temperatures. Bud break was early, but was slowed by heavy April showers. While still early by historical standards, picking began about a week later than 2015, in mid-September. A traditionally sized harvest followed the lighter vintage of 2015, and the extended mild season helped balance the acids and add complexity to the fruit.