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2020 La Clarine Farm Skin Fermented Chardonnay

2020 La Clarine Farm Skin Fermented Chardonnay

Region: Rorick Heritage Vineyard < Calaveras County < California

Grapes: Chardonnay

Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming, limestone soils; skin fermented in open-tops for 1 week then spends 10 months on the lees before bottling, unfined and unfiltered; 15ppm of SO2 at bottling only; 11.9% ABV; 78 cases produced

Winemaker: Hank + Caro Beckmeyer
  • One of California's OG natural wine estates, set on high-elevation, volcanic soil vineyards in the Sierra Foothills
  • High elevation, skin-contact, UNOAKED Chardonnay that will change the way you think about Chard!
  • Zesty golden delicious apple, chamomile flowers and a touch of honeycomb with perky acidity and a long, minerally finish
More from La Clarine Farms
"This is definitely a wine that we had to 'go with the flow.' We were all set to make another version of our lovely 2019 Chardonnay, but fate, and our press, had other plans. We loaded the whole clusters into the press, and...that was it. The electronics in the press controller decided they had had enough, stopped working, nothing...A quick call to our dealer's service department revealed no spare controller in stock, and it would be 7-10 days to have it shipped over from France. Wonderful.  Necessity being the mother of invention, I meanwhile rigged up a switch on the motor, bypassed the control board altogether, and managed to be able to dump out the grapes into bins (since the control board ran all of the pressure switches, I couldn't figure a way to actually press the grapes). Not having many options, we decided to skin ferment these lovely grapes in open-tops...Ten days later, the new board arrived, I installed it, and we were able to finally press the Chardonnay.  Long story short, the Chardonnay turned out fabulous, retaining its “chard-ness” while cloaked in a textural structure. Nice acidity, some light tannins, rich, yet refreshing, in the mouth. I like it better than the straight version we had made in 2019. A decision made and a new way forward! We bottled 78 cases after aging the wine for a year in tanks. Obviously, no filtration. We then decided to let the wine mature a bit before release. That, too, turned out to be a good decision. The wine is drinking really nicely now."

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