Excelsior’s vineyards are characterized by limestone-rich calcareous clay soils, ideal for producing fine wine. A portion of the Chardonnay comes from broken shale, which gives the wine a stone fruit character. The Chardonnay vines range in age from 5-22 years. Cool afternoon breezes sweep through Robertson Valley in the summer,
providing natural air conditioning in the vineyards on hot days
2018 was the third consecutive drought vintage in the Robertson area. Water shortages were experienced right through the summer. Fortunately the weather was not excessively hot, and the vines coped well in the dry environment. The 2018 vintage is one of the healthiest on record but slightly smaller than average. The resulting white wines are bright and clean, with good concentration.
The grapes were hand harvested in the cool, early mornings, destemmed and cooled. After 4 hours of skin contact, the grapes were gently pressed, then cold fermented for 15 days. 75% of the wine was fermented in stainless steel tanks to preserve the fresh citrus flavors. The remaining 25% was fermented and aged in French oak, which lends a subtle toasty nuance. Both portions were aged on their lees for three months. A small percentage of Viognier was added, contributing additional richness and a lush texture.
This crisp, mouthwatering bottling is a blend of Excelsior’s three best Chardonnay blocks. It displays lively flavors of green apple, citrus, and pineapple on a full, creamy palate. Traces of peach, orange blossom and delicate toasty notes combine with a mineral edge to round out this versatile everyday sipper, a consistent crowd pleaser.