Marian remembers the wine as a "classic" French Chablis and knew that it was something incredibly different. She never forgot the moment and vowed to duplicate the Chardonnay in our enchanting Paso Robles Westside valley. Marian's vineyard has become renowned for its rare terroir -- the perfect place for the perfect Chardonnay. Here the quest for the ultimate Chardonnay -- the dream Chardonnay -- would be realized! As with the other Chardonnays from Marian's vineyard and at Carmody McKnight, the unique soil attributes combine to create a supreme classic wine.
In the book Terroir by James E. Wilson, the author describes the legendary soils of France, where for centuries limestone has been known as "the one chemical soil constituent generally associated with wine quality, favoring chemical availability of mineral nutrients and immunity from acidity." "Limestone also favors moisture retention, and hence the feeding of the vineplant." Dr. Thomas J. Rice of Cal Poly stated at the recent Great Whites Seminar at Carmody McKnight that "Free calcium carbonate assures superb soil structure and porosity contributing to balance." Our limestone-endowed soils provide the natural balance which is the key to great wine.
Then there is calcium montmorillonite that characterizes our vineyard -- in France called "the wonder soil," "the swelling clays." Wilson states that calcium montmorillonite is "characterized by its incredible cation-exchange capacity (cations are atoms or molecules with a positive electrical charge and the ability to hold a large amount of plant essential nutrients). This quality is as vital to the life functioning of the vineplant as oxygen is to the human bloodstream. It is how plants get their nutrients and neutralize toxic chemicals."
Limestone and calcium montmorillonite are the two most important soil constituents in the renowned French vineyards -- known to contribute to wine greatness, and without them -- wine inferiority. Do they exist in California? Almost nowhere. But in the Carmody McKnight vineyards -- in abundance! In our vineyards we have a third component -- our own volcano -- guaranteeing the most mineral rich wine and the cleanest, purest varietal expression. Now you know why Marian's Vineyard can make claim to the greatest of the classic Chablis. All of these rare soil constituencies support the creation of Marian's gorgeous, classically-inspired estate Chardonnay -- Marian's Vineyard!
NOTES: A big, ripe, and richly fruity 100% Free-run Chardonnay with a concentrated core of perfectly ripened white peach, pear, and fig. Turns elegant and extraordinarily delicate, enhanced by a citrus-infused tropical finish. The unwoody “real” Chardonnay is rare in California -- dependent on the synergy of ideal soils and microclimates! Free-run, a major factor behind the fresh, tropical-rich quality, is the pure juice that flows free of the skins and seeds prior to pressing the fruit. Keeping the Free-run separate results in a cleaner, crisper, natural juice to ferment.
Harvest Date: October 8, 2012
Block: Marian's Vineyard -- 2.01 tons per acre
Fermentation: 91% stainless steel / 9% Neutral French oak
Aging: 91% stainless steel / 9% French oak
Bottling Date: July 25, 2014
226 cases produced