Made solely from estate fruit, there is one glorious white grape here - one hundred percent Chardonnay from our Estate Vineyard - a single, perfect vineyard, grown exclusively for low yield, high quality fruit.
Barrel fermented in the traditional Montrachet method using just the right amount of French Oak - not too much - just perfect. Then malolactic fermentation, by design interrupted when only partially completed. Made in French Oak over twelve months where it develops its rich character and that beautiful balance found in exceptional Chardonnay.
Amourette expresses itself with an inviting fruit aroma, a touch of mineral in the center palate and nuances of pear and honey, culminating in a subtle butterscotch finish.
A key characteristic of Amourette is the way it seems anxious to show further depth. Often 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 genuine appreciation of the grape's actual flavors - it simply does not tire the palate, inviting you to enjoy more.
It is 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 the crops under the stewardship of Catholic monks.
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.
Clonal varieties of these successful crosses 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 region that produce 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.
Montrachet, pronounced Mon-rashay, is a grape growing region located in the south of the Côte de Beaune, the most important wine producing region of Burgundy.
Montrachet produces what many consider to be the greatest and the most expensive dry white wines in the world with prices ranging from $200 to $3,000 per bottle. Composed almost entirely of Chardonnay, the vineyard yields are restricted to 2.5 tons per acre so production is always limited.
We love to drink Montrachet Chardonnays so for our Estate vineyard in Dry Creek Valley, we chose to use the lower-yielding Dijon-76 clone that produces more flavor-concentrated clusters, albeit with a significantly lower 2.5 tons per acre yield, which limits our production of Amourette.
By rigorously following the history and science of Montrachet we are able to produce Amourette, our own American Montrachet-style Chardonnay.
The limited amount we do produce is however, exquisite.
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