2006 Carneros Chardonnay
Chardonnay •Estate Vineyard
California: Napa Valley: Carneros
What We Say
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT
Today’s Carneros Chardonnay is a wine of tremendous character and elegance. If you love great Chardonnay, this one belongs in your collections.
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Mission Codename: Maudire ces Américains!
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Acquire an exceptional Chardonnay that rivals the best of Burgundy
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Truchard Vineyards
Wine Subject: 2006 Carneros (Napa Valley) Chardonnay
Winemaker: Sal De Ianni
Backgrounder: Carneros Chardonnay is revered for its quality, elegance and smoothness, and arguable rivals the best white wines of Burgunday. The Carneros viticultural area, a wine growing region which straddles the Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley, has been a great source of wine that we have featured here. Always, those wine have been of supreme quality. The cool Carneros region provides ideal growing conditions for Chardonnay – and Chardonnay literally thrives there. Today’s Chardonnay is truly representative of the the best that region has to offer!
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Crystal clear golden-straw yellow that becomes pale along the edges. When swirled, this wine shows its slightly thicker texture and leaves clusters of slow medium-thick legs along the side of the glass.
Smell – Medium in intensity, and very pretty in character, this lovely wine starts off with ripe and rich stone fruit including mature apricot and peach with notes of bright citrus. These classic fruit flavors are layered over subtle vanilla-bean, spice, soft oak notes and white floral aromas.
Feel – Smooth and dry with exceptional weight and body. Well balanced with both creaminess on the mid palate and acid on the tip and back of the tongue as well as a touch of minerality that lingers long into the finish.
Taste – Rich and plump notes of peach, apricot, citrus fruit are harmoniously layered over honey suckle and orange blossom floral and honey notes. A touch of spice, minerality, creamy butter, vanilla-bean and oak emerge and linger over the palate.
Finish – Extremely long and persistent with the well evolved fruit and creaminess fading gracefully and the spice and minerality lingering for several minutes.
Conclusion – The 2006 Truchard Vineyards Carneros (Napa Valley) Chardonnay is an exceptional wine with great balance in both its aromas and flavors, rich and plump fruit are balanced with elegant creamy notes and lively acidity.
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
SUBJECT: Sal De Ianni
WINE EDUCATION: M.S. Fermentation Sciences, UC Davis
CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: 1994 Hess Collection, 1995-96 Cuvaison Estate Wines, 1998-present Truchard Vineyards
WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: “Hands Off”
WINEMAKER QUOTE: “It’s all about balance”
FIRST COMMERCIAL WINE RELEASE: 1995
AGENT WHITE: Greetings, Sal. We are thrilled to be showing your 2006 Carneros Estate Chardonnay today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
WHITE: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
SAL: Wine tasting classes at Northwestern University, Chicago restaurants
WHITE: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
SAL: Dr. Michael Peterkin (Margaret River, Australia) taught me the “hands off” approach.
WHITE: Who do you make wine for?
SAL: Tony & JoAnne Truchard (my bosses), myself, and anyone else who wants to try it.
WHITE: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.
SAL: 100% Estate Carneros fruit, 30% new French Oak, 30% ML, lower alcohol, higher acid.
WHITE: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
SAL: Grilled scallops, Corn Chowder
WHITE: In your opinion, what makes the Carneros region so special?
SAL: Foggy mornings, cooler days, breezing evenings… long hang time.
WHITE: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
SAL: Racking the 2009 red wines, getting ready to bottle the 2009 Roussanne.
WHITE: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?
SAL: Most importantly enjoy them with family and friends over a meal.
WHITE: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
SAL: The 2006 vintages wines are all tasting great right now!
WHITE: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Truchard winery, which can be visted by appointment only, can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
Awards & Accolades:
93 Points – Ken’s Wine Guide – This light yellow colored Chardonnay was clearly the best Chard we tried at this years Boston Wine Expo. It opens with a light vanilla oak like bouquet with a hint of banana. On the palate, this wine is full bodied, creamy, and very well balanced with delicious light lemon flavors. We also detected some infused light oak and butter flavors as well with a dash of spice. The finish is dry and nicely refreshing. We felt this wine would pair nicely with brie or turkey. Enjoy – Ken
91 Points – Wine Spectator – Built around a core of peach, tangerine and nectarine, with a hint of creamy oak. Sleek and refined, with vibrant acidity and a long, zesty finish that unlocks plenty of subtle flavors. Drink now through 2012. 2,769 cases made. –JL (June 15, 2008)
5 Stars – Restaurant Wine – An exceptional Chardonnay: very ripely flavored, supple in texture, and very long on the palate, with a persistent finish, tasting of crème brulee, cherimoya, candied lemon, pineapple and orange blossom. Great Value – Ronn Wiegand
About This Wine:
Intense aromas of tropical fruit, lemon zest, and fresh pear; combined with fig, vanilla, and spice. The mouth is rich – filled with bright flavors of wildflower honey, green apple, and nutmeg. Firm acidity provides a bright finish of citrus, mineral, and toasted oak.
Vintage: After record winter rains, a dry spring allowed for good berry set and an average crop. Normal summer conditions slowly brought the fruit to maturity. The 2006 vintage produced fruity wines with bright aromas, intense flavors, and great acidity.
Vineyard: Chardonnay is located throughout the southern part of the Truchard Estate Vineyard. The vines range from 10 – 32 years old and benefit from the various marine soils, gently sloped terrain, and cooler temperatures – conditions that make the Carneros region ideal for
growing Chardonnay. They produce aromatic wines with tropical fruit characteristics and a unique spicy element.
Winemaking: All of the fruit was whole cluster pressed, this technique produces a full-bodied wine with delicate structure. Our Chardonnay is 100% barrel fermented in French oak (33% new) using various yeast strains. After
fermentation the wine remains in barrel on the lees (sur lie) for 10 months. A partial malolactic fermentation (30% complete) allows the wine to retain its natural acidity, while regular stirring of the lees (battonage) gives added complexity and richness.
About The Winery:
Truchard Vineyards is a small family owned winery in Carneros region of Napa Valley. Proprietors Tony and Jo Ann Truchard have managed a successful vineyard and grown exceptional grapes for over 30 years. Through their hard work and devotion to this unique property, they helped pioneer grapegrowing in the Carneros. In 1989 the Truchards established a winery and began producing wines using only their estate-grown fruit.
About The Winemaker:
Sal De Ianni: I was born and raised in Greenfield, Wisconsin, a suburb of Milwaukee. I attended Marquette University, and graduated in 1991 with a BS in Chemistry. In the fall of 1991 I moved to Evanston, Illinois, and began graduate studies at Northwestern University. My goal was to earn a Ph. D. in Analytical Chemistry, then find a well-paying job doing research and development. While at Northwestern, I enrolled in some wine appreciation classes hoping to break up the monotony of my research. Six months later the wine courses were more interesting than my research; I decided that I would rather pursue a wine-related job than a career in chemistry. By December of 1992 I had earned a MS in Analytical Chemistry; that same month I was accepted to the Viticulture and Enology department at UC Davis. I moved to California in May of 1993 and began classes that fall.
I worked my first harvest in 1994 at Hess Collection Winery. I spent 6 months in the cellar, and then returned to school. During the 1995 vintage, I worked at Cuvaison Winery, in both the cellar and the lab. After six months, I went back to Davis to finish my thesis:
“Investigating Methods of Detecting Urea in Wine.” In the summer of 1996, I received my MS in Enology and returned to Cuvaison for the upcoming harvest, as the enologist.
Immediately after harvest I was offered the opportunity work in Margaret River, Western Australia. I would be the “
temporary” winemaker at a small ultra-premium winery – Pierro Margaret River Vineyards. I left for Australia in January 1997 and returned to Cuvaison in August, just in time for the 1997 harvest there in California.
After my winemaking experience in Australia, it was hard to go back to being an enologist; so I began searching for a winemaking position in the Napa Valley. I answered a help-wanted ad the local paper which read “small, family-owned winery looking for a hands-on winemaker.” I joined Tony and Jo Ann Truchard at Truchard Vineyards in January 1998.
Varietals: 100% Chardonnay
Harvest: October 1 – 16
Harvest Brix: 24.5º
Harvest pH: 3.25
Harvest TA: 7.1 g/L
TA: 6.5 g/l
Release Date: November 1, 2007