2012 Franciscan cuvee sauvage Chardonnay

Pale in color with a lovely varietal chard nose. On the mid pallet the wine is a lovely bold rich chard. Some apple and buttery notes coming through. The wine is on the lighter side of medium in length on the finish. 89-90 yummy. This particular one is not in the LCBO sadly. $40 US at the winery.

From the winery’s web site

WINEMAKER: Janet Myers
APPELLATION: Carneros, Napa Valley
BRIX AT HARVEST: 23.5°–24.5°
VARIETAL COMPOSITION: 100% Chardonnay
FERMENTATION: 100% barrel fermented, sur lie aged
AGING: 100% French oak, 86% new, 14 months
COOPERS: Dargaud & Jaegle, François Frere and Boutes
pH: 3.35
TA: 6.9g/L
ALCOHOL: 14.5%
RELEASE DATE: August 2011
CASES PRODUCED: 3,500

Sensory Evaluation:
Appearance: Delicate lemon yellow
Aromas: An opulent, complex bouquet of honeyed Fuji apple, ripe pear, honeysuckle, vanilla, and a hint of fresh citrus wafts out of the glass with creamy undertones of melon and minerality.
Flavors: Full bodied, yet elegant and graceful, it offers an irresistible counterpoint of rich, creamy flavors impeccably balanced by bright, citrusy freshness. Opening with sweet ripe pear, honeysuckle, and vanilla bean, it evolves into lush layers of baked apple, crème brûlée, honey, and citrus on a foundation of minerality, fresh cream, and crisp acidity. Persistent, rich, citrus-infused finish.

Winemaker’s notes:
Franciscan was the first Napa Valley winery to produce a wild yeast fermented Chardonnay, starting in 1987. Following traditional Burgundian techniques, yeast is not added to the juice, but instead we let the native yeast that live on the grapes perform the fermentation. Unlike cultured yeasts, wild yeast comes in many strains, reflective of the vineyard terroir. They work in a relay, and as one strain finishes, another starts, each adding its own personality to the wine, giving layers of complexity – which is why we go to the extra effort of “going wild.”

For Cuvée Sauvage, we use exclusively our finest lots from cool Carneros, with the heart of the blend coming from our estate Larsen Vineyard. The Dijon clones planted provide concentrated fruit character, and give minerality, vibrancy, and complexity to Cuvée Sauvage, with consistency year to year of the wild yeast expression.

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