Eighty percent of the fruit for this Dundee Hills cuvée, Eyrie’s entry-level Chardonnay, derives from 52-year-old vines. They were planted by founder David Lett, using old California wood with massale selection. The remainder is from four-year-old vines, a mix of Wente and Sterling clones. The organically grown fruit is hand-picked and fermented with ambient cultures in neutral French oak barrels. It ages on lees for 11 months without bâtonnage. It was filtered prior to bottling.
The color is straw yellow and the perfume is on-point for steely New World Chardonnay. I get ripe honeydew and dried hay edged by a slight funk. The palate continues the theme but adds ripe pineapple-citrus flavors. Pronounced acidity, characteristic of Dundee Hills Chardonnay, carries the texture. The finish is green, herbaceous.
Possibly positioned by the winery as their vin de soif, it could readily serve as a vin de garde, the wine’s provenance and structure allowing it to evolve at least another three to five years in the cellar. Pair it now with foods that are herbaceous and savory: fish, poultry, cheeses, pilafs, gratins, risotto.
2017 Eyrie Vineyards Chardonnay Dundee Hills
12.7% ABV | $27 (sample)