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 2020 Founders Donald

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2020 Founders Donald

 2020 Founders Donald
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This wine pays tribute to our grandfather, Donald D. Miller, who founded our estate vineyard in 1968.

Tasting Notes

This small-batch, limited production Chardonnay displays intriguing aromatics of caramel apples and poached pears infused with nuances of butterscotch. The palate is rich and creamy with evolving layers of freshly baked marzipan, lemon oil, and roasted cashews. The wine exits the palate with soft acidity that showcases the wine's balance with rich and creamy toasted French oak notes that lingers on the palate.

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

The 2020 Donald D. Miller Chardonnay showcases the best Chardonnay that our estate vineyard has to offer. These reserve blocks have been cropped to small yields to allow depth and concentrated flavors. Harvested at optimal maturity, the grapes were sent directly to the press as whole clusters for a very gentle pressing. After pressing, the juice was cold settled for 72 hours, then racked clean and sent directly to very exclusive French oak barrels. The wine was fermented and aged in a mixture of 500L puncheons and 228L barrels with 90% being new French oak and 10% 1-year-old French oak. The barrels were inoculated with a special yeast strain and had temperature ranging from 55 to 64 degrees allowing for a lengthy fermentation of about 4 weeks. After alcoholic fermentation was complete, the barrels were inoculated for malolactic fermentation (MLF) and were closely monitored. Our goal was to complete MLF and to avoid the “buttery” characteristic. After MLF, the wines had their lees stirred twice a month for 4 months to build roundness and richness on the palate. Overall, the wine was aged for 10 months before being stabilized and prepared for bottling.

Food Pairing

Spring Vegetable Risotto
Gnocchi with Brown-Butter and Sage Sauce
Seared Pork Chops & Gremolata
Roast Chicken or Turkey with Herbs
Lobster Tails with Garlic Lemon Butter
Seafood Bisque, Corn Chowder, or Butternut Squash Soup

  • Varietal Composition: 100% Chardonnay
  • Appellation: Yakima Valley
  • Aging / Barrel Program: 10 months in French Oak (90% New, 10% 1-year-old)
  • Cases Produced: 160
  • Alcohol: 13.5%
  • pH: 3.56
  • Acidity: 5.9 g/L
  • Ageability: Drink now through 2027 with optimal maturity around 2024. (Serve at 50-55 degrees)

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