Steele Chardonnay Cuvee (375's) 2010 (375ml)
Steele Chardonnay Cuvee (375's) 2010 is sold out and cannot be purchased at this time.
Our flagship white wine, California Cuvee Chardonnay, really shows off Jed Steele’s wizardry in blending. As with all great wines, the process begins with the selection of the right vineyards. We have worked with most of the great Chardonnay vineyards in California and have chosen these seven prestigious properties to obtain the grapes for this wine.
Beginning in the south, the area around the Santa Ynez Valley near Santa Barbara has a maritime climate with lots of morning fog in the summer and cool evenings. We get grapes from Bien Nacido Vineyards, located on the benches above the Sisquoc River and from the Goodchild Vineyard about a mile away across the river. Both of these vineyards add a tropical fruit character to the wine, flavors and aroma of mango, pineapple, and papaya.
Farther north we source grapes from the Carneros region, in the southern part of Sonoma County that borders the San Francisco/San Pablo Bay. Cool winds and morning fog are artifacts of the weather pattern in Carneros, making the region perfect for both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The Sangiacomo Family farms 1000 acres of vineyards here. We source grapes from their Katerina, Donnell, and El Novillero ranches. The flavor profile of this climate leans toward citrus fruit and the grape acidity is always high. The meticulously farmed vineyards of Durell and Parmelee-Hill are managed and owned, respectively, by Steve Hill. These two vineyards also attribute citrus character and acid to the cuvee. These are slightly further inland and tend to ripen sooner than Sangiacomo.
Again moving north, we arrive in Mendocino County, home to both the warmest vineyard site and the coolest vineyard site in the blend. The Lolonis Family has been farming in Redwood Valley since the 1920’s, farming organically since the 1950’s. This site contributes the warmest-climate grapes to the cuvee with flavors and aromas of baked apples and cinnamon. To the west lies the DuPratt Vineyard, located above Anderson Valley in the Mendocino Ridge appellation. The fruit from this vineyard contributes a minerality to the wine.
Fermentation takes place in French oak barrels of which 20% are new. The wine remains in barrel for eight months, the lees are stirred regularly, and the wine can finish malolactic fermentation. The real work comes when Jed chooses which lots and which barrels will be blended to craft the Steele Cuvee. The first round consists of selecting the truly superior products of that vintage. These will be separated and bottled as single-vineyard designated Chardonnays. Each vintage, two to four of the vineyards we source from produce such remarkable wine. This cream of the crop is extremely limited; generally around 300 6-packs.
We then conduct blending trials to arrive at the best blend for the Steele Cuvee Chardonnay. Any excess wine that doesn’t fit into either of these two categories becomes our Shooting Star Chardonnay. The Cuvee consistently exhibits excellent depth of flavor, wonderful acidity and complex aromas. Due to the popularity of our Cuvee we release this wine in both full and half bottles.