2019 Croix Chardonnay Narrow Gauge
2019 Croix Chardonnay Narrow Gauge Rich in tropical and stone fruit, this complex crowd-pleaser is generous on the palate, bringing together the best from four single-vineyard sites. Together, they find a seamless whole of opulence that wows.
Here at Croix Estate, our philosophy of winegrowing is rooted first and foremost in gratitude and love of our craft.
Our core mission is to farm Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the best vineyard locations throughout Sonoma County to produce wines that will age gracefully over a decade or longer. As such, our Chardonnays are broad and full-bodied, yet balanced with firm acidity and layers of seemless flavor. Our Pinot Noirs are full-bodied efforts with verve and flavor in just the right balance to allow for wines that have the necessary power and length to age for well over ten years.
Our growing practices are low impact and sustainable with the goal of fostering a legacy of responsible vineyard management for generations to come. Our winemaking practices are centered around state-of-the-art sorting and destemming (no crushing!), low fruit impact gravity flow, native fermentations, and gentle ageing in air-dried barrels.
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””.
The variety itself (although often said to be relatively flavor-neutral) is responsible for most of the fruity flavors found in Chardonnay wines. These range from the tropical (banana, melon, pineapple and guava) to stonefruits (peach, nectarine and apricot), citrus and apples.
Climate plays a major role in dictating which fruit flavors a Chardonnay will have. Broadly speaking, warm regions such as California, Chile and much of Australia tend to give more tropical styles. Temperate zones such as southern Burgundy or northern New Zealand create wines marked out by stonefruit notes. The very coolest Chardonnay vineyards (those in Chablis, Champagne and Germany) lean towards green-apple aromas.
Mineral descriptors such as chalk, wet stones and crushed seashells also find their way into Chardonnay tasting notes. These are sometimes attributed to the soils in the vineyard, although the relationship between soil and wine flavor has become widely exaggerated. The most famously minerally Chardonnay wines are those of Chablis, one of the very few wine regions to focus on a largely unoaked style of Chardonnay.