2020 was a tricky year for grape growing. There were multiple heat waves throughout the year that put stress on both farmer and grapevine, culminating in the fires in the fall, which complicated matters even further. We learned a lot about how fires and smoke impact wine grapes; however, most importantly, how to avoid picking smoke-damaged fruit and determine whether the fruit was OK. Fortunately, we were able to harvest the Chardonnay from the McIntyre vineyard with no damage at all and even better. Despite all the difficulties during the growing season, it turned out to be an excellent year.
The Chardonnay was fermented with naturally occurring yeast and aged in a combination of small and large oak barrels. Very little new oak was used to give the flavors of the grape an unfettered expression. 100 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.
We take Chardonnay seriously at ShunYi and are definitely inspired by old world Chardonnay. Since we are making wine in the new world from new world grapes, the wine has an unmistakable generosity and ripeness, but it is balanced by fresh acidity and toasty notes from aging on the lees. Our block at McIntyre vineyard gives us fruits with bright flavors every year, and it also brings lovely secondary flavors of beeswax and honey. All this adds up to a wine that we hope combines the best of the old and new world—the kind of wine we like to drink ourselves.