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2020 Chardonnay

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Tasting Notes

This Chardonnay displays intriguing aromas of poached pear, papaya, butterscotch, and smoked pecans. Secondary flavors of caramel apple, crème brûlée, and a touch of honeysuckle. A slightly creamy mouthfeel on the palate with a well-balanced finish that showcases the perfect harmony of acidity, fruit, and oak.

Vineyard Designation

100% Estate Grown

Vintage Notes

The 2020 vintage will go down as a very memorable year. The growing season was exceptional with a mild winter, warm spring, and moderate summer. Bud break occurred 2 weeks earlier than normal and veraison was well ahead of schedule too. Just as we were preparing for an early start to harvest, wildfires in the Northwest created a thick cloud of smoke over Washington State. Concerns arose about exposure to smoke. Taking a cautious approach, we delayed harvest until the smoke cleared and conducted trials to determine the effect of smoke on our grapes. Fortunately, results showed no sign of smoke taint. Proximity to the source of smoke plays a big factor, and our vineyard was a long distance away. Overall, we have not seen any impact of smoke on the 2020 vintage. Another major event of this vintage was an early frost that occurred the second week of October. Our winemaking team worked tirelessly long hours leading up to the frost. By the time our vineyards had been impacted by the cold spell, our winery was stuffed with fermenting grapes and harvest was 95% complete. All remaining grapes were then hand-harvested and sorted with an optical sorter to remove any excessive M.O.G. or bad grapes. After our wines completed alcoholic fermentation, we were very pleased with the results. We at Airfield have another stunning vintage for you to enjoy. The 2020 wines showcase an abundance of ripe fruit aromatics, low tannin profiles, and exceptionally balanced finishes.

Winemaking Notes

This wine displays the best of both worlds that Chardonnays from Washington State have to offer. 58% was fermented and aged in stainless steel and 42% in exclusive French oak (44% new French oak and 56% 2-6yr old French oak). Harvested in early October at optimal ripeness, the grapes were then sent directly to the press as whole clusters and pressed gently to maintain the fresh fruit and varietal characteristics. After settling out for 72 hours, the juice was sent to stainless steel tanks and to exclusive French oak barrels for fermentation. The stainless portion was fermented cool with temperatures maxing out at 60 degrees. The barrels were fermented around 60-65 degrees until dry. After fermentation, the barrels were inoculated for malolactic fermentation and closely monitored to ensure completion. Our main goal with malolactic fermentation was to complete the secondary fermentation but allow the wine to maintain its amazing fruit quality without abstracting it with “buttery tones.” The stainless portion did not undergo any malolactic fermentation. The lees were stirred in barrels and in tank twice a month for three months to help with the mouthfeel and to make the wine rounder and more balanced. After aging in tank and barrel for 8 months, the wine was blended and then aged an additional month in concrete tank before bottling.

Food Pairing

Roast Lobster with Tarragon-Lemon Butter
Braised Pork with Pearl Onions and Grapes
Fresh Corn Soufflé with Bacon and Comté
Brie or Camembert

  • Varietal Composition: Chardonnay
  • Appellation: Yakima Valley
  • Aging / Barrel Program: 8 months in 58% stainless steel & 42% French oak followed by 1 month in concrete
  • Cases Produced: 2,305
  • Alcohol: 13.5%
  • pH: 3.5
  • Acidity: 5.8 g/L
  • Ageability: Now through 2026

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