2015 LULI Chardonnay
SANTA LUCIA HIGHLANDS
Dedicated time spent in the vineyards was critical for the 2015 farming season. An unseasonably warm winter led to the earliest bud break on record in the Santa Lucia Highlands, effectively shifting the growing season to the early months of the year. May was cold, overcast and windy, which were not ideal conditions for flowering. This triggered the vines’ metabolic response to weather conditions that discourages grapes from developing properly—or “shatter”, which resulted in an extremely low-yielding vintage. Fortunately, summer cooperated with mild temperatures and normal levels of fog, so vine development kept its usual pace. The resulting small yield of fruit had a nice balance of sugar levels and time spent on the vine. Harvest began the last week in August and spanned the month of September.
The 2015 Luli Chardonnay was sourced entirely from the Santa Lucia Highlands. It is a blend from two sustainably-farmed vineyards. The well-trained vineyards carry low yields and are planted to a variety of different clones, which, combined with the fog and cool winds of the Santa Lucia Highlands provide ideal growing conditions for Chardonnay.
The Luli Chardonnay was made from hand-picked fruit and whole cluster pressed grapes. The juice and wine is not settled so it goes to barrel and ages with original lees that contribute complexity to the wine. Fermentation was carried out in 100% neutral oak barrels. These neutral barrels give the wine great focused aromatics while bringing texture and mineral notes. Minimal less stirring keeps the wine exceptionally pure. Malo-lactic fermentation was prevented to preserve the bright aromatics.
The 2015 Luli Chardonnay possesses fresh aromatics and a focused mouthfeel. Weather conditions and stressed vines allowed for harvesting of lower brix, which in turn provides a vibrant, uplifting quality. Floral aromas are matched with undertones of blood orange and stone fruit. A juicy, slightly weighted mid-palate from the neutral oak barrels transitions seamlessly to minerality and mouthwatering acidity.