Ramey's Hyde Vineyard is located on the rolling hills of the Napa side of Carneros. Locationally the vines are exposed to the cool marine air coming from the Petaluma Gap, which helps provide a cooler growing season. The vines were planted in the '90s on top of ancient creek beds full of Haire Clay Loam and plenty of scattered rocks. The clay subsoil is virtually impenetrable, creating desirable vine stress and lowers crop yields. After harvest, the grapes are whole-cluster pressed, then undergo full native malolactic fermentation in barrel, with sur lies bâtonnage. The wine is then aged for 18 months in 30% new François Frères French oak barrels, then the Chardonnay is fined and settled in the tank. Finally, the wine is bottled without filtration.
Aromatically the wine is extremely mineral-driven, along with hints of honied yogurt and green pears. On the palate, the wine is full of lemon zest, Marcona almonds, and delicately clotted cream with bright acidity.
“Vine selection for our Hyde Vineyard Chardonnays are predominantly old Wente with some Robert Young—itself a Wente selection. The Wente produces a classic, Burgundian-style wine without the tropical fruit tones of some California Chardonnays. Hyde Vineyard wines often seem charming and feminine, with high natural acidity playing a prominent role.” – David Ramey