2017 Baileyana Chardonnay Firepeak Cuvee
2017 Baileyana Chardonnay Firepeak Cuvee The Chardonnay from Baileyana’s Firepeak blocks is unique in many ways. The cool climate, long growing season of the Edna Valley, and the unique soil profile found on the Baileyana estate allow for intense varietal flavor, optimum ripeness all while preserving their trademark energetic acidity. The winemaker’s intrinsic talent of blending small lots of Chardonnay into one exemplary wine each vintage is what makes the Firepeak Chardonnay so special.
Chardonnay is the world’s most famous white-wine grape and also one of the most widely planted. Although the most highly regarded expressions of the variety are those from Burgundy and California, many high-quality examples are made in Italy, Australia, New Zealand and parts of South America.
Describing the flavors of Chardonnay is not easy. While many Chardonnay wines have high aromatic complexity, this is usually due to winemaking techniques (particularly the use of oak) rather than the variety’s intrinsic qualities. Malolactic fermentation gives distinctive buttery aromas. Fermentation and/or maturation in oak barrels contributes notes of vanilla, smoke and hints of sweet spices such as clove and cinnamon. Extended lees contact while in barrel imparts biscuity, doughy flavors. Because of this high level of winemaker involvement, Chardonnay has become known as the “”winemaker’s wine””.
Over 35 years ago, Catharine Niven envisioned a small vineyard in front of her Edna Valley home that would deliver high quality wines.
To achieve her goal, she bucked popular California viticultural trends and looked to the old world for her inspiration. She was one of the first women to own a winery and one who wasn’t afraid to do things differently. Baileyana, named for the place where she met her husband Jack, soon outgrew her small home vineyard. It has since been sourced from our estate Paragon Vineyard, Jack’s pioneering plantings going back to 1973. Baileyana offers beautiful, cool-climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, which are refined, rich, and perfectly balanced. She wasn’t entirely surprised by Baileyana’s early success, but Catharine didn’t dream that her small project would one day become the legacy that it is today.
Today, Baileyana wines remain true to Catherine Niven’s pioneering spirit, as well as to the genuine, elegant style she exuded when walking into any room.
“The Niven Family, pioneers of the Edna Valley, have been here since day one—living, breathing and farming their historic Paragon Vineyard since 1973.”