Santa Maria Valley
This wine surprised us in that it started out as a rather lean acidic thing that just grew and grew in the barrel. In August of each year we carefully taste the chardonnays and try to decide if they are ready for bottling before the harvest. This wine was not, and I had my doubts as to how good it was going to turn out. But patience was rewarded. By December it had transformed itself into a real beauty. And I do mean it transformed itself, because we did nothing in the winemaking! It just sat in barrels on the lees the whole time, which enriched the wine, and brought out delicate characteristics that were not apparent earlier.
The other interesting thing about this wine is that it was aged exclusively in older French oak barrels. There are no heavy oak flavors to muss up its zippy deliciousness.