Our 2019 P·M Staiger Vineyard Chardonnay comes from the same vineyard source as our 2016 Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay. One of the most compelling vineyards in all of California: high elevation, steep slopes, thin rocky soils, own-rooted 48-year-old vines planted to the old Wente selection. For us, this is the ultimate terroir. Nervy and packed with notes of fresh citrus, white flowers, and pure minerality. This Chardonnay is the perfect white wine for your Spring table and will also reward those who love to cellar their white wines. 100% native fermentation, no additions, bottled unfined and unfiltered (12.7% alc).
94+ John Gilman, View from the Cellar
“These chardonnay vines were planted in 1973 on their own rootstocks, on a steep, southwest-facing slope that sits on a combination of sandstone and shale, one thousand feet above the San Lorenzo Valley. The cuttings were from old Wente clones back in 1973, and today the vineyard gets plenty of morning and late day fog to moderate its temperatures during the growing season. The wine is barrel-fermented in older casks with indigenous yeasts, aged in these barrels for a year and the racked to stainless steel tanks for six months of finishing elevage. The 2019 version comes in at 12.7 percent octane and delivers a beautifully refined bouquet of pear, lemon, elder flowers, a complex base of minerality, citrus zest and a whisper of vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is vibrant, full-bodied and impeccably balanced, with a lovely core and soil signature, zesty acids and excellent focus and grip on the long, pure and complex finish. This is more accessible out of the blocks than previous chardonnays that Joanna and Sean have released from the Wood Valley Vineyard, which could prove to make holding onto this beautiful wine in the cellar quite difficult! Like all of the Model Farm wines, it is built to age and will be infinitely more enjoyable to drink if given some bottle age, but good luck exercising the self-control needed! 2021-2040.
We find such joy in the simplicity of making white wine. For us, it is purely the product of careful pick decisions, skillful choices at the press, and a lot of patience. Beginning in the vineyard, we are constantly tasting and waiting for acidity and flavor to reach their point of optimal balance. Our Chardonnay is then gently whole-cluster pressed as we watch over the ever-changing flavors, textures, and chemistry that transpires during the pressing cycle. We separate the juice into distinct lots and leave them to settle overnight. The next day, we fill lightly used barrels, by gravity, with the settled juice. Each barrel remains tucked away in the cellar, undisturbed, to begin fermenting at its own pace. There is no inoculating, no stirring, no additions – just time. We monitor each barrel’s unique fermentation over the course of 12 months. Once the wines are ready, they are moved into stainless steel for an additional 6 months of aging. The added aging provides the wine with additional focus and length.
Steep, terraced vineyard above the town of Boulder Creek
Own-rooted, 48 year old vines
Old Wente selection
Western facing slope
Extremely shallow Sandstone - Shale soils
Raised in Neutral French Oak and Stainless Steel Barrique