One of the earliest wineries in the now famous Stag's Leap district, Clos du Val was founded in 1972 by American businessman John Goelet and French-born winemaker Bernard Portet. Bernard's father had been manager at Chateau Lafite, where he and his brother Dominique (ex Taltarni) were raised. Clos du Val began life as 150 acres of vineyards on some of the finest land in the Stag's Leap district. In 1973 an additional 180 acres of vineyards were purchased in the cool-climate Carneros region. The winemaking team now led by John Clews and Kirsty Melton are building further on an already outstanding reputation, utilising the very best Napa fruit to produce handcrafted, estate wines famed for their balance, elegance and complexity. The late maturing Cabernet Sauvignon is the benchmark variety for wines from the Stag's Leap district, where cool night-time temperatures and the reflected heat of the Stag's Leap Palisades during the day provide ideal conditions. In comparisonChardonnay and Pinot Noir are the stars of the Carneros region, where the cool maritime breezes moderate the temperature and allow the extended slow and even ripening that these varieties demand to achieve the level of concentration and rare delicacy that makes them so sought after.
The Chardonnay grapes are sourced from the coolest blocks of the Carneros Estate vineyards which are between 8 to 26 years old with a soil of clay loam on fractured bedrock. The Clos du Val team started picking grapes on August 28th and completed harvest on October 9th. The grapes develop real intensity of flavour from a long, cooler growing season.
The wine was 100% barrel fermented and aged in French oak barrels (20% new) for 10 months.
Slightly toasted nutty aromas with a salty caramel character. Mouth-watering. Very classic Californian Chardonnay. Baked apple flavours balanced with hints of pineapple and creamy fresh vanilla oak. This is full, rich, singing Chardonnay yet poised and linear with well-balanced oak and a crisp, long finish.