The 2017 vintage was a typical Sonoma County growing season…right up until the heat spike that hit at the end of August. Warmer sites were especially affected by the heat. The fruit for the 2017 Riley’s Rows Chardonnay is sourced from three of the best Chardonnay vineyards in Sonoma County. Chardonnay was less affected by the heat than Pinot Noir or Zinfandel and all the fruit was harvested in good condition.
The 2017 Riley’s Rows Chardonnay North Coast offers an expressive nose of honeysuckle and lemon blossom. On the palate the wine is supple with a round, silky texture and balanced acidity. The fruit profile has notes of apricot, ripe Meyer lemon, and pear.
My goal with this wine was to make a well balanced Chardonnay that reflects what I like in Chardonnay. I like the texture and richness I get from barrel fermenting but I don’t like too much obvious new oak. In this vintage I was able to express this by employing a high percentage of used barrels in my ferments. This wine offers a fresh, clean style of Chardonnay that is delightful to drink…with or without a meal!