Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Triumph for California Chardonnay

Justin Willet of Tyler Winery produces some of the most vibrant wines in California today. Case in point is the 2011 Dierberg Vineyard Chardonnay. His winemaking skill aside, the key to the exceptional quality of Willet's wines is he carefully picks the vineyard sites he works with.

Dierberg Vineyard is situated on a cool growing area 13 miles off the Pacific Ocean. Justin Willet brings the fruit in early to retain acidity and balance and pressed whole cluster. The wine is barrel-fermented and aged on the lees in barrel for a year before being bottled. Justin's winemaking approach is total simplicity. Quality rests solely on the excellence of the fruit brought in, and so everything is done to convey this on the finished wine.

The results are stunning. Beautifully balanced, crisp and sharp, and deliciously textured. The alcohol is a refreshing 13.8%, while the oak remains well in the background providing contrast to the fruit's seductive floral scents and luscious citrus flavors.

A mere 64 cases were made of this brilliant Chardonnay.

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