121 cases produced


VINOUS 92 Points

Pale brilliant gold. Fresh pear, melon, honey and white flowers on the fragrant nose, lifted by a lemon zest nuance. Juicy and expansive in the mouth, offering concentrated orchard and citrus fruit flavors and a suave, seamless texture. Closes sappy and very long, featuring a sexy pear nectar quality, a hint of smokiness and strong, mineral-driven persistence.

Shimmering hue of fossilized amber without any prehistoric insects to be seen. Aromas ranging from marzipan to mushroom to a freshly torn kumquat rind with a bit of machete hacked chunks of pineapple in the background. Entry is lush and large with an enveloping mouth showing even more flavors of pear and apple with a dusting of cinnamon. With warmth more complex agents emerge with orange pith and lemon meringue pie cleansed with an ice cold Canada Dry Tonic Water. Wait a moment and orange oil blended with light caramel sauce over a toasted piece of pound cake show up. Well worth the wait. After having the wine opened for a few hours you can experience Marcona Almonds along with a “low-tied” component like fresh Uni.  A damned rich and savory wine at this point. The finish, even at this five hour point is all light and refreshing as the acidity cleanses the palate for the next bite. A few of the dinner attendees who purchase an inordinate quantity of this Chardonnay have told me that the wine really needs to be left open for a week to fully appreciate what is in there, a sign that this wine might too last longer than most Chardonnays. Pretty impressive.

This 2014 Yates Conwill Chardonnay was made in the same manner as all my Chardonnay since the 2011 vintage: Hard pressed into a settling tank where it resides without enzymes, yeasts or SO2 for a couple of days to let it get acclimated. The tank is lifted via my “anti-gravity” machine and a hose attached to move the wine into new French oak barrels to the half full level.  A bung is placed in the barrels and they are left in the corner to transform as I work on the Pinot noir for the next six to eight weeks.  At this point I need those new French oak barrels for my Pinot noir and in every one of these Chardonnay barrels, fermentation is moving along at a rapid boil looking like someone dropped in fifty Alka-Seltzer into each barrel.  I use that “anti-gravity” machine again to lift the barrels and them drain each new French oak barrel of rapidly fermenting Chardonnay into neutral French oak puncheons of 400 liter capacity.  The wine will reside in these barrels until ready to bottle. Seems to work pretty damned well if you ask me. Plus several other folks have adopted this method to make their Chardonnay. Nice and simple if somewhat tedious.  Then again, most things that ten time are better things.

After the 2014 Pre Release dinner sales I have 88 cases of this wine. The Chardonnay was second only to another wine, to be released at the middle of September, in sales.  If I was you, I would buy one more case of this wine that you might think you need.  Yes, it is that good.

Technical Notes

titratable acidity 5.5 g/L

pH 3.41 

ethanol at 60F 13.74 % vol 7/10/15 A2LA Accredited Test – SOP# A022

below, Yates Conwill Vineyard soils & rocks

The Vineyard: Yates Conwill Vineyard

Yates Conwill Vineyard is owned by husband and wife Cathy and Steven Conwill. It is a beautiful southwest facing bowl of a vineyard tucked in next to Foothill Farms, sharing a fence with Resonance Vineyard, and is only five miles due west from the lovely hamlet of Carlton. Well managed by Results Partners it is one of the “bonsai garden” vineyards in the valley with perfectly manicured plants and clean rows.  

This vineyard is proving to be a great site for me with both the Chardonnay and the Pinot as I have worked with this site since the 2008 vintage. Farmed by Results Partners to perfection, or as quoted in the Wine Advocate “like a Bonsai garden”, this southwest-facing site just west of Carlton is well loved.