This is the inaugural vintage of Chardonnay for ShunYi Cellars. It is from grapes grown in the McIntyre Vineyard, located in what many regards as the “sweet spot” in the middle of the Santa Lucia Highlands. Most people think of Pinot Noir when they think of the Santa Lucia Highlands, but Chardonnay thrives there as well, particularly if you are looking for a brighter, higher acid style.
The ShunYi Chardonnay puts the flavor of the fruit and the soil ahead of the flavors that are obtained in the cellar. While the wine is barrel fermented and barrel aged, it is in neutral oak. Naturally occurring yeast and bacteria carry out the fermentation, which can take two months. Other than occasional stirring of the barrels, the wine is handled very little. 80 cases made.
We named our Chardonnay “Xiang Si” 相思, which means to think about the ones you care for and love. We wanted to dedicate this wine to our families and friends who have been guiding and supporting us along this challenging yet exciting journey.
Chardonnay from the McIntyre vineyard always has a viscosity that belies its light touch in the winery. Notes of honey, beeswax, almond and lemon peel define the aromas, and on the palate, it is creamy and rich. A bright beam of acid holds it together and keeps the wine light on its feet. With air it blossoms into a subtle, savory wine that leans old world in its flavors—definitely not a fruit bomb.