2014 Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay
Despite drought conditions, 2014 vintage weather delivered very good wine grape growing conditions. The vintage produced an abundant and quality-driven crop. Goodfortune years like this are a blessing for winemakers. Our 2014 vintage wines show good depth of character.
VARIETAL BLEND: 100% Chardonnay
HARVEST METHOD: 100% hand picked
PROCESSING: 100% whole cluster direct to press, press cuts taken at 120 gal/ton. Must be cold settled for two days before racking off heavy lees before yeast inoculation.
FERMENTATION: 100% barrel fermented in French oak, 30% new, to enhance spice and honeyed aromas. Used a combination of D47 and Montrachet yeast. Partial malolactic fermentation to soften natural acidity.
MATURATION: The Barrel fermented wine was stirred weekly for 7 months to enhance yeasty and spice notes, and to increase viscosity. Then aged 3 months with just monthly topping.
Bright straw color with aromas of tropical fruit, honey, marzipan, wet stone and some yeasty undertones. The wine has flavors of fresh cut pineapple, with a distinctive sea-floor minerality, and a touch of acidity to keep it fresh in the mouth. The viscosity and smooth, full mouthfeel offers nutmeg and cinnamon spice, in a slightly-toasted finish that lingers gracefully.
pH AT BOTTLING: 3.4
TA AT BOTTLING g/L: 6.0
BOTTLING DATE: August 27, 2015
CASE PRODUCTION: 2,629 cases (12 x 750ml screw-cap bottles)
BLAKE KUHN, WINEMAKER
Were you to study insects and wolves around the world for three years before working at an abalone farm while waiting tables in a fine French restaurant with a California twist, you, too, might gain a Toasted Head and thereby, ultimately, return to your roots and make an Inconceivable wine. Now, there’s a tale worthy of a good glass of Chardonnay!
Blake Kuhn’s journey of discovery took him from Santa Barbara to Esparto and back again. Somehow, looking at small bugs and larger canes lupus and helping raise large edible sea snails while explaining mushroom-topped cranberry-flavored spinach expressed Blake into the world of wine.
From humble beginnings sampling grapes, Blake prospered and grew as a winemaker, ultimately barrel fermenting thousands and thousands of bottles-worth of Chardonnay, achieving notoriety as “Mr.Toasted Head.”
And then, quite suddenly, he found his way back. Back to California’s Central Coast. To a small acreage in Templeton, with a lovely wife and two daughters. His Toasted Head seemed far behind him. And it was good. And it was peaceful.
Ah, but then (and there’s always a big but, isn’t there?) a wine-man sighed, “Oh, would that we could have a fine barrel-fermented Chardonnay! But we haven’t the grapes, nor the experience or expertise. Oh, it’s just inconceivable!”
Blake Kuhn soothed the wine man. “There, there, dear fellow. I know where to find some wonderful Chardonnay grapes, and I know how to make a wonderful barrel-fermented Chardonnay. It’s quite easy, you see. At least for me.”
And so it is.
INCONCEIVABLE should, perhaps, be called "Conceived At Last!" These are wines produced and bottled by Middleton Family Wines. We imagined them, then considered our grape sourcing and winemaking, and declared them INCONCEIVABLE … and set about finding ways to make them anyway.
INCONCEIVABLE wines are always "of a place." They have distinctive aromas and flavors indigenous e...etc., ending here so you can see what’s at the end.