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