Yannick Rousseau uses fruit from the Haynes Vineyard, an old site in Coombsville whose Chardonnay finds its way into some great cellars; perhaps Failla and Enfield are most notable. Rousseau does not subject his wine to malolactic, and he ages it on lees for 10 months, without bâtonnage, in one-third stainless and two-thirds used French oak. In other words, he tries to let the fruit shine.
The color is pale yellow gold and the wine’s fragrance is expansive, enormous, and like a sunny field ripe with flowers: hay and chamomile, orange blossom, a hint of sweet bay. The texture is silken, with a flaxen mid-palate and a finish like bitter almond. The fruit mostly takes a back seat, and the acidity is modest, just on the verge of enough. There’s a sense of nut and coconut—curious given the neutral élevage. The aromatics really win the day.
Pair it with roasted poultry or medium-aged cheeses. And don’t serve it too cold.
14.2% abv | $27 (sample) 170 cases made
You might also enjoy this interview I conducted with Yannick Rousseau: