Made solely from estate fruit, Amourette is fermented and aged in French Oak for 11 months resulting in a natural, single-vineyard, single-varietal wine.
Developed in the style of the Montrachet Grand cru wines, this exceptional Chardonnay is rich in character, beautifully balanced and always represents exceptional quality.
Discussions with Bill Williamson
Many friends have asked me to define the basic taste characteristics of my Amourette Chardonnay but it’s very hard to do. There is certainly an inviting fruit nose and a touch of mineral in the center culminating in a flavorful hint of butterscotch finish, but the key to Amourette is the way it seems anxious to offer more.
Many Chardonnays have fruit concentration and acidity, usually going on to show toast and butter from their time in oak, but Amourette successfully melds hints of the best of these aspects whilst at the same time retaining a really high level of interest - it simply does not tire the palate - it invites you to keep enjoying it.
It is somehow this tightrope of presentation and the resulting ‘tension’ that intrigues and delivers so much pleasure from a single glass of wine.
Chardonnay is the result of a cross between the Pinot and Gouais Blanc grape, brought from the Balkans by the Roman Legions and planted in Burgundy where local French peasants continued to cultivate it as a crop.
The French aristocracy grew Pinot in the same region, giving the grapes opportunity to interbreed. Since the two parents were genetically distant, many of the crosses showed hybrid vigor and were selected for further propagation. These "successful" crosses included Chardonnay.
As of 2006, 34 clonal varieties of Chardonnay could be found in vineyards throughout France, most of which were developed at the University of Burgundy in Dijon. These "Dijon clones" are bred for their adaptive attribute to different, unique terroir.
The Californian wine regions producing premium quality Chardonnay are those most influenced by coastal fogs that slow the grape ripening and give it more time to develop its flavors. The regions of Dry Creek Valley, Los Carneros and Russian River Valley in Sonoma county have successfully produced wines that best reflect true Burgundian styles.
For our Estate Home Ranch vineyard in Dry Creek Valley, we chose to use the lower-yielding Dijon-76 clone that produces more flavor-concentrated clusters, albeit with significantly lower yield, limiting our production of Amourette.
Amourette ~ Amourette refers to the "little love affair" that Bill has with the Amourette vineyard at the estate home ranch.
Developed to produce a Montrachet style of Chardonnay it is the subject of an entire chapter in the book Way Beyond Wine