Casas Del Bosque Reserva Chardonnay 2021
Pale yellow with green hues, the nose is expressive and complex. There are notes of white peach, citric fruit such as tangerine and lime, and sweeter notes of wood, spices and vanilla. Upon tasting it becomes evident that it was a cooler vintage, whose main trait is a vibrating acidity and a prolonged palate. A wine of vertical structure, with an acidity that moves in a linear direction through the palate, with a clean and flavorful finish.
This Chardonnay comes from Casas del Bosque´s own estate in the Las Dichas side of Casablanca Valley, making it a single vineyard wine. The blocks from which the grapes come from are planted on yellow, sandy soils with a bit of hillside loams. After the 2021 harvest, the grapes were destemmed and crushed to a pneumatic press. The resulting juices were then left to cold settle overnight and the following day racked to stainless steel tanks, inoculated with selected yeasts and fermented at temperatures between 59 and 64ºF. 6% of the final blend was submitted to malolactic fermentation by co-inoculation of selected yeasts. Ageing lasted for 10 months, with 5% of the volume in new French oak barrels, 26% in second use barrels, and the rest in stainless steel tanks in contact with its fine lees. After blending, the wine was clarified, cold-stabilized and filtered. Total production was 6,100 cases.
Vineyard located within the coolest, westernmost reaches of the Casablanca Valley. Planted between 1993 and 2014, equipped with drip irrigation. Crop levels are an average of 7 tons per hectare (3.2 tons per acre). Frequent foggy mornings, warm days and cool nights characterize the valley. Average temperatures in summer are 66ºF and in winter 51ºF. Mean diurnal shifts in March are 51ºF. Yearly rainfall is around 380 mm, falling mostly between May and September.
This Estate Bottled Chardonnay is a great example of what Casas del Bosque stands for when it comes to their winemaking philosophy. Much has been said about the dichotomy of oak vs. fruit when it comes to Chardonnay, with exponents such as Russian River in California and Chablis in France often presented as polar opposites. In Casablanca Valley, with its exceptional cool climate and sandy soils, the winery strives to make a wine that is not just respectful of the fruit, but respectful of Casablanca fruit; that is, a faithful reflection of the terroir. With just about 6% of the wine going through barrel ageing and malolactic fermentation, the goal is to show balance of oak, fruit, acidity and freshness. Quince notes are a frequent descriptor, with zesty acidity and minerality being a consistent trait vintage after vintage. Sure, if you like a more oaked style, you can always go for the Gran Reserva; but for a fresh and tangy pour, this Reserva is an excellent choice.