History: Our first vintage of Chardonnay dates back to 1983 from vines planted on our Oakville estate. We added more Chardonnay in 1990, when we T-budded a few rows over from Cabernet Sauvignon. The vineyard is planted with 7x12 bilateral cordon and dry farmed. Chardonnay now totals 2.9 acres of the 14.8 acres planted on our estate. The 2016 Napa Valley Chardonnay is 42% Oakville Estate, 23% Truchard Vineyard in Carneros, Napa Valley, 19% Mt Veeder, Napa Valley and 19% Swanson vineyard, our neighbor here in Oakville. We hand-picked 15 tons of Chardonnay from September 9-23, 2016.

Tasting Notes: On the nose, a luscious fragrance of honeysuckle, ripe red apple and butterscotch. With its lighter body, this wine is bright and lively with creamy lemon meringue high notes and vanilla bean undertones. Savor the silky finish. This wine defies the dated stereotypes of Chardonnay, instead providing a balanced and lighthearted, satisfying and refreshing accompaniment to food or conversation. This is the classic that has won accolades for Nils Venge and Saddleback over the past 35 years: With all the flavor you’d expect from Napa Valley, this Chardonnay delicately balances a bright acidity and lighter body with epic roundness and a smooth, crisp finish.

Awards: Gold Medal Houston Rodeo, 90 pts/Gold Medal Orange County Wine Society

Vineyard Notes: Grapes harvested from vineyards in Oakville, Carneros and Mt Veeder subdistricts of the Napa Valley AVA

Production Notes: Brix: 24.5. After whole-cluster pressing and cold settling, the juice was racked into small stainless steel fermenters and inoculated with CY3079 yeast. Then, the juice was transferred to 60-gallon Nevers and Allier Burgundy-shaped barrels, of which 45% were new French oak, for the start of barrel fermentation. The wine remained sur-lees for nine months, stirred every 10 days. The wine did not go through malolactic fermentation.

Food Pairing Notes: Pairs excellently with butter- and cream-sauced dishes, triple-cream brie and dried apricots or fig jam, fish and seafood dishes.