The 2019 vintage is classically rich and luscious with dense flavors of butterscotch, Crème brûlée, honey and pineapple. An underlayer of toasty oak and caramel from barrel aging adds complexity. Tropical flavors, so characteristic of the Dunnigan Hills appellation, add a fresh balance. The creamy texture and bright, crisp fruit linger in the finish.
We picked our Chardonnay clones 4 and 124 (Dijon) at night. The estate fruit went from vine to crusher in less than 30 minutes, arriving well before sunrise to ensure the fresh, fruit flavors were preserved. We used a yeast cocktail (a mixture of our winemaker’s favorite compatible yeasts) in all the lots to ensure that complex fermentation characters evolved. These lots were barrel fermented, with frequent stirring of the lees. 100 % of the barrel lots went through malolactic fermentation. We then select 10% of the finest barrel lots and allow them to age an additional five months while maintaining a frequent stirring program. The barrels were evaluated again and only half of the original top 10% were selected for the final blend of the 2019 Arsonist Chardonnay.
The Arsonist Chardonnay pairs well with lobster bisque, mesquite grilled shrimp or pasta in a cream sauce.