2018 Duckhorn Vineyards Napa Valley Chardonnay
At Duckhorn Vineyards, we have been making wine using grapes from the finest Napa Valley vineyards for over 40 years. Building on this rich history, our Napa Valley Chardonnay comes from the coolest regions. In the cellar, we applied classic techniques of French oak barrel fermentation with lees stirring, resulting in a Chardonnay that balances the complexity and richness of Napa Valley.
Varietal Composition: 100% Chardonnay; Aged 10 months in 90% French oak (40% new), 10% stainless steel
Both complex and alluring, this radiant Chardonnay opens up with aromas of pineapple, stone fruit and lime, as well as hints of white flowers and sweet French oak. On the palate, it is round and silky, with lively acidity and abundant minerality balancing the underlying richness and adding poise to the lush flavors of apple, peach and creamy lemon curd.
For both red and white grapes, 2018 offered near picture-perfect growing conditions, with mild spring and summer weather, and no significant heat events. The conditions were ideal for both our Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc, which show beautiful tropical notes and ripe flavors at low sugars. While our Chardonnay harvest began about three weeks later than normal, the fruit arrived at the winery in pristine condition, producing dynamic and complex wines. The excellent growing conditions naturally resulted in a slightly larger than average crop for our red Bordeaux varieties, with fully lignified seeds at low sugars levels. With temperate weather throughout fall, we were able to pick each block at optimal ripeness, yielding exceptionally juicy and polished red wines, with plush, well-rounded tannins, and lovely overall structure.
40% malolactic fermentation