Last of the Belli Chardonnay is in

September 28, 2011



Today we brought in the final load of the Belli Chardonnay. It looked pretty clean and tasted great. We got just under two tons, meaning that for the year we got just about exactly seven tons of Chardonnay total.

Block 4 is on the right hand side of this picture, straight across from block 5, which we picked one week ago today.

Block 4 is planted to Dijon clone, which as you may recall has a sort of classic Chardonnay profile, with good minerality and strong fruit components. Another characteristic of this clone is its’ tightly packed clusters, which had us worried since it rained a few days ago. Tight clusters can get water trapped inside, which can lead to botrytis rot. In this case we didn’t really develop much of a problem, and at any rate we have access to a very reliable picking crew that can sort the fruit and remove any rot as the clusters come off the vine, so the grapes reached us in fine condition.

This is what a botrytis infected cluster looks like. Even with the field sorting, it’s normal to have a couple of clusters like this in a load of Chardonnay, but we were able to pull most of them out by hand as we loaded the press. While large amounts of botrytis can cause all kinds of problems in the wine, very small amounts are actually known to produce a delicate apricot aroma in the finished product.
Sugars were a little lower than we’d expected on this lot, but the flavor we were looking for was still there. Based on what we’re tasting in it now, we’re expecting this component to give a nice mineral backbone with plenty of apple and pear flavors to the final Chardonnay blend.
Be sure to come back Thursday to check out how we do our barrel work!
To visit the Amapola Creek Winery main website, please click here.

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