Bacigalupi’s twelve acres of sandy loam soils were planted in 1964 to half Pinot Noir and half Old Wente clone Chardonnay. Here the fruit was whole cluster pressed to barrel and fermented with ambient cultures. It underwent full malolactic and aged for 16 months in French oak, one-quarter new.
The wine’s a saturated yellow color with a round, ripe-fruited aromas burnished with the ornaments of wood. The wine’s modest acidity and honey-sweet midsection make it feel fey and light-spirited, but it resolves in a savory, white pepper and tangerine finish. Notes of Meyer lemon, lemon curd, and nutmeg add dimension.
It’s a big wine, one with ample flesh and texture (and firm alcohol), and still kicking with youth. It needs rich and savory foods: cheesy gratins, roasted vegetables, crisp-skinned poultry, meaty beans, butternut squash ravioli with sage and browned butter.
2016 Tongue Dancer Chardonnay Bacigalupi Vineyard Russian River Valley
14.5% abv | $50 (sample) 100 cases made