2018 Matthiasson Chardonnay, Linda Vista Vineyard, Napa Valley, California (750ml)
Steve Matthiasson just has a knack for crafting clean, cool wines with lots of personality at very reasonable price points given their excellent quality. This is a Chardonnay drinker's Chardonnay that will equally appeal to fans of lighter bodied and crisp whites.
Steve and his wife leased the Linda Vista Vineyard on the back of their Napa Valley winery property, farming it sustainably and allowing them to capture just the right level of ripeness for their Chardonnay grapes. It's how he handled the grapes after picking them that sets this wine apart. The wine was fermented and aged in neutral oak barrels and as Steve explains, “for complexity, completeness, and balance, we achieved a diversity of ripeness by harvesting the fruit at five different times during the ripening period. The earlier harvests contributed acidity and minerality, and the later harvests contributed flesh and richness. The earliest pick is incredibly zingy, while the latest pick is nutty and honeyed. Everything was blended together. We whole-cluster pressed all of the grapes, settled in tank for 24 hours, then fermented and aged the wine in neutral barrels. To preserve the high-toned and citrusy notes we kept half the barrels unstirred, and for a touch of creaminess we stirred the other half of the barrels just once. We allowed two-fifths of the barrels to go through malolactic fermentation. The wine was never racked, fined, or cold-stabilized, but since it is partially ML negative it was filtered before bottling.”