2014 First Label Chardonnay
WINE ADVOCATE: 90 PTS
Our first label Chardonnay is hand harvested, pressed and fermented in French oak barrels, 50% new. Floral aromas of honeysuckle, citrus blossom and vanilla are followed by flavors of pineapple, pear and butterscotch. Richly complex this wine is balanced by enough acidity for a crisp, food-friendly finish.
Winemaking: Grapes are hand harvested and pressed. The juice was fermented using naturally occurring indigenous yeasts from the grape skins. Fermentation was carried out in French oak barrels, 50% new barrels, with 100% Malo-Lactic Fermentation. Aged for 10 months in oak the wine was blended then bentonite fined for heat stability, cold stabilized and bottled unfiltered.
Growing Conditions: 2014 Harvest Report from winemaker Anthony Nappa;
2014 harvest was marked by the largest grape crop in Long Island history across the region. Strangely this was experienced by all growers and across all grape varieties, often up to 5 tons/acre on both white and red varieties. Farmers are always happy about a big crop, and many take as much as they can, but to produce high quality wines you often have to control the crop to achieve ripe flavors and balanced chemistry. At Raphael we chose early, after a cool summer to drop fruit in most of the vineyard and adjust the crop to levels where we felt could achieve the best results.
2014 started out with a cold winter and a lot of snow, a very late spring and bud break. Overall the growing season, June to August, was very dry with drought conditions across the region by August, growers who could irrigated regularly. Meanwhile temperatures were well below normal producing a beautiful summer of cool temperatures and low humidity for beachgoers. For about 6 weeks from mid August to the end of September we experienced no rainfall with what felt like early fall days with very cold nights below 50 F (even in August) but warm days in the 70’s. This produced great disease free conditions for ripening our early varieties of white wine grapes and Pinot Noir by retaining natural acidity and producing ripe flavors.
The ripening season September to November overall was cool and a bit wet but because of an overall cool year and larger crops all varieties were delayed in ripening. Many grapes were picked much later than normal with much of the red wine crop harvested in November. A late warm spell and no frost allowed us to hang red grapes until the second week of November while continuing to accumulate flavors. For us the wines from 2014 show exceptional natural balanced chemistry and ripeness which has made us excited about the quality and the future longevity of the 2014 Vintage!
|Dimensions||3 x 3 x 12 in|
90 PTS WINE ADVOCATE