2016 J. Lohr Vineyard Series October Night Chardonnay
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Wine Enthusiast Advance Buying Guide, July 2018
- “Baked apple, lime pith, butter-poached pear and almonds show on the nose of this ripe bottling. There is a tightly wound texture to the palate, carrying flavors of apple and nectarine, with a citrus-driven grapefruit pith finish.” -Matt Kettmann
Arroyo Seco AVA, Monterey County, CA
Best enjoyed now through 2020.5 Years
This wine is the perfect pairing to eggs benedict, crab cakes with creamy orange reduction sauce, cedar plank salmon, or almond-crusted halibut.
The 2016 vintage was a return to normal rainfall during the winter and cool weather during the ripening season. This weather provided enough warmth needed for ripening but also preserved the fresh acidity of this Arroyo Seco fruit. In 2016, we continued working with our French viticultural consultant, Xavier Choné, on Chardonnay irrigation in the Arroyo Seco. Moving to more “rainfall- like” - 24 to 36 hour - infrequent irrigation events in the spring with a six to eight week “dry-down” between berry set and veraison before resumption of these longer irrigation events has helped increase aroma intensity and concentration of flavors. Each year, we fine-tune the irrigation decisions during the growing season to optimize the fruit potential. Our 2016 harvest of Clone 809 Chardonnay, the backbone of the October Night Chardonnay, occurred on October 8th at 24.6° Brix.
The vineyards for the October Night Chardonnay lie in J. Lohr’s Block 9 plantings in the Arroyo Seco AVA of Monterey County, near the mouth of the Arroyo Seco River, which provides the vines a slightly more wind-protected environment in which to grow. Comprised largely of Dijon Clone 809 Chardonnay - known in some circles as the Musqué Clone - these vines produce a very distinctive and attractive, powerful floral character. The soil is laden throughout its loamy profile with “Greenfield potatoes,” stones that resemble potatoes in size and appearance and which absorb heat during the day and radiate their heat after sunset, enhancing floral character and richness.