2016 Neyers 'Chuy's Vineyard' Chardonnay Sonoma Valley
Winemaker Notes: We had some important visitors at the winery recently — two brothers who own a wine company in Belgium and distribute our wines there and in Holland. As we tasted through the selection of Chardonnay bottlings from Neyers, it was apparent that their top choice was our 2016 Chardonnay ‘Chuy’s Vineyard’. That was no surprise to us. ‘Chuy’s Vineyard’ is easily our most ‘Burgundian’ wine, so it’s reasonable that Europeans familiar with French white Burgundy would favor it. No, we don’t kid ourselves thinking that our wine is French. To the contrary, if we’ve learned anything over the past 30 years at Neyers Vineyards it’s been a broader understanding of the soils, the weather, the plant material and the geography unique to California wines. We rely on much more than the grape variety in our approach to winemaking, and this is an example.
The growing conditions of ‘Chuy’s Vineyard’ Chardonnay more closely resemble those of Burgundy. This vineyard sits on the west slope of Mt Veeder on the Sonoma County line. It’s at 1200’ in elevation, and the soil is largely volcanic rock known as basalt. Because the grapes are harvested with low Nitrogen content the fermentation struggles, developing an attractive combination of minerality and hazelnut in the wine. Additionally, the slow fermentation favors the formation of Glycerol which gives the wine additional body and texture. This is what our Belgian clients were drawn to in the Chuy’s Chardonnay.
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