Our 2015 Smoking Loon “Steelbird” Chardonnay represents the true characteristics of Chardonnay, free from the influence of oak aging. 100% stainless steel aging allows vibrant aromas of pineapple, melon, pear and golden delicious apple to shine through. Refreshing yet rich flavors of pineapple, melon and apple are rounded out by a pleasant citrus acidity. With a creamy, silky mouthfeel--obtained by re-suspending the lees during tank aging--and persistent finish, our unoaked Chardonnay is in a league of its own. A lively palate and tropical finish make this a versatile food-pairing wine. Serve with light appetizers, seafood, grilled vegetables and spicy Mexican or Indian dishes.
In crafting our Unoaked Chardonnay, our winemakers sourced grapes from Clarksburg AVA, an up and coming wine region located in California’s Sacramento Delta, and from other California prime grape growing regions. Known for its abundant sunshine which helps to ensure a reliable extended growing season, the “Golden State” has become an American winemaking mecca on par with the other great wine regions of the world. California boasts nearly 100 American Viticulture Areas (AVAs), that encompass over a half million acres of vineyards, supporting a diverse varietal mix. Cool climate varietals like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir thrive in the fog-bathed coastal areas, while the warmer inland valleys provide the perfect conditions for heat loving varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Sauvignon Blanc.
Despite another year of drought, a lighter yield and one of the earliest seasons on record, the 2015 vintage is shaping up to be a stellar one. A mild winter caused an early bud break that was followed by prolonged bloom and an unseasonably cool spring that caused some of the blooms to shrivel and fall, an effect called shatter. The uneven pollination contributed to smaller grape clusters and variable crop size in Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino. Fortunately, the high temperatures in August and early September accelerated maturity and produced fruit with concentrated flavors and intense aromas.