R&B 2012 sarabande
This chardonnay hails from the beautiful, hillside, Lone Oak Vineyard in the Russian River Valley. It was lovingly handcrafted in a combination of fermentation vessels, including French oak barrels and puncheons, and two traditional Burgundian concrete eggs. The eggs are special: it is not only the traditional method used in Burgundy to create some of the greatest Chardonnays, but its unique shape and design creates a vortex that keeps the lees in constant motion, adding to mouth feel and structure. The eggs also emphasize the "mineralite" of the wine and enhances balance. We used different yeasts with each barrel, puncheon and egg, creating additional layers of complexity and nuance to the final wine and bringing out different aspects of the fruit.
The Wine: You will notice tropical notes with hints of pineapple and apple with the slightest hint of butterscotch and coconut. The wine is big and rich, yet completely balanced. While oak is there, it is completely integrated into the wine. The acid is crisp and vibrant, yet perfectly balanced by the rich fruit, mineral characteristics and long finish.
This is, in every sense, just what we always wanted to make in a Chardonnay. We have long been an avid fan of white Burgundy, most specifically Puligny Montrachet. The best examples have remarkable balance where leanness is complimented by a richness and fatness in the mouth that seems just right. Soft supple glycerols are balanced by just the right amount of crisp acid and mineral tones. Simply put, a Goldilock's wine. Everything is just right.
The Name: Sarabande continues our tradition of musically named wines. A "fast and erotic" three-quarter time dance in 17th century Spain, and a "stately and decorous" three-quarter time dance in 18th century England - both aspects reflect the terrific balance of flavors we have tried to achieve.
Vineyards: Lone Oak Vineyard is special to us for a number of reasons. First, its location in the Russian River on East Side Road and its unbelievable views in all directions. Secondly, we used to own this vineyard with our friends the Rosenblums, and we spent many happy hours there camping and enjoying the vineyard. Most importantly, however, is the fruit. There are both Dijon and Wente clones at the vineyard. Both produce small berried clusters with incomparable flavors.
Vineyards & Composition
100% Russian River Chardonnay
Lone Oak vineyard
Bottled: January 2014
Released: February 2014
Production: 100 Cases