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Porter Bass Chardonnay 2004

Winemaker's Notes:

Sue Porter and Dirck Bass have been farming the saddle at the top of Mays Canyon since the early 70s, raising children and winegrapes in a wholesome, rural environment that has lead to deeply satisfying results. The wines we have made from their grapes have twice been rated Best Chardonnay in the World we feel their biodynamic farming practices have something to do with this! As good an accolade this is, however, we would hasten to say that their best accomplishment has been helping their kids grow into splendid adults, fine young people we are fortunate to count as our friends and fellow winegrowers. Thank you, Sue and Dirck, for all of your efforts! Should you wish to sample the Porter-Bass Zinfandel that son Luke produces under the family label, you can call him at (707) 869-1475.Tasting Notes:The bent of the Tandem Porter-Bass Vineyard Chardonnay is always Euro-centric, with this year especially so. Picked at what would be considered by many to be much lower sugar than most of California is used to these days, the focus of the 2004 Porter-Bass is one of delicate floral notes and wisps of sauvage on the nose, with a mineral, flinty presentation to the mouth. Fine acid and tannin balance indicate that, as with our past Porter-Bass efforts, this wine will age incredibly well. For the patient oenophile, the best is yet to come as this wine gains in complexity and strength.Technical Data:Vineyard: Much has been said and written about this far-west viticultural outpost of the Russian River. Farmed with Biodynamic practices on a saddle just south of the Russian River, Sues careful farming allows Chardonnay to ripen on their Northeast-facing slopes in years when even flatlanders have trouble ripening crop. The viticulture here is challenging and there is little room for error in this cool site. Sue is up to the challenge!Harvest: Two lots of separate clones of first Rued (Musque) at 22.0 Brix and then Wente at 23.8 Brix were harvested about 10 days apart in mid-to-late September. The yield was miniscule, with only about 0.8 tons/acre being given up by the land.Fermentation: the Rued clones juice was inoculated after skin-contact for 12 hours, basket pressing, and cold-setting with a touch of organic skim milk and egg white fining, with a yeast preferential to the floral tones of which this clone is capable of producing. The Wente clone was uninoculated and allowed to go to barrel without settling or racking, producing a hot fermentation that have yielded up the sauvage et animale tones that are characteristic of the yeast-juice interaction for which Porter-Bass is best known.Barrel aging: after 100% barrel fermentation in 1/3 new French oak, the wine was aged on its lees with only two stirrings until racking in April. Further cold-setting in stainless steel was conducted for 8 weeks before a light fining of isinglass and bentonite clarified the wine before the unfiltered bottling.Bottling: 446 cases were bottled unfiltered. pH: 3.34 TA: 7.1 g/L 13.4% alcohol residual sugar: 0.08% Appellation: Russian River Valley

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Sue Porter and Dirck Bass have been farming the saddle at the top of Mays Canyon since the early 70s, raising children and winegrapes in a wholesome, rural environment that has lead to deeply satisfying results. The wines we have made from their grapes have twice been rated Best Chardonnay in the World we feel their biodynamic farming practices have something to do with this! As good an accolade this is, however, we would hasten to say that their best accomplishment has been helping their kids grow into splendid adults, fine young people we are fortunate to count as our friends and fellow winegrowers. Thank you, Sue and Dirck, for all of your efforts! Should you wish to sample the Porter-Bass Zinfandel that son Luke produces under the family label, you can call him at (707) 869-1475.Tasting Notes:The bent of the Tandem Porter-Bass Vineyard Chardonnay is always Euro-centric, with this year especially so. Picked at what would be considered by many to be much lower sugar than most of California is used to these days, the focus of the 2004 Porter-Bass is one of delicate floral notes and wisps of sauvage on the nose, with a mineral, flinty presentation to the mouth. Fine acid and tannin balance indicate that, as with our past Porter-Bass efforts, this wine will age incredibly well. For the patient oenophile, the best is yet to come as this wine gains in complexity and strength.Technical Data:Vineyard: Much has been said and written about this far-west viticultural outpost of the Russian River. Farmed with Biodynamic practices on a saddle just south of the Russian River, Sues careful farming allows Chardonnay to ripen on their Northeast-facing slopes in years when even flatlanders have trouble ripening crop. The viticulture here is challenging and there is little room for error in this cool site. Sue is up to the challenge!Harvest: Two lots of separate clones of first Rued (Musque) at 22.0 Brix and then Wente at 23.8 Brix were harvested about 10 days apart in mid-to-late September. The yield was miniscule, with only about 0.8 tons/acre being given up by the land.Fermentation: the Rued clones juice was inoculated after skin-contact for 12 hours, basket pressing, and cold-setting with a touch of organic skim milk and egg white fining, with a yeast preferential to the floral tones of which this clone is capable of producing. The Wente clone was uninoculated and allowed to go to barrel without settling or racking, producing a hot fermentation that have yielded up the sauvage et animale tones that are characteristic of the yeast-juice interaction for which Porter-Bass is best known.Barrel aging: after 100% barrel fermentation in 1/3 new French oak, the wine was aged on its lees with only two stirrings until racking in April. Further cold-setting in stainless steel was conducted for 8 weeks before a light fining of isinglass and bentonite clarified the wine before the unfiltered bottling.Bottling: 446 cases were bottled unfiltered. pH: 3.34 TA: 7.1 g/L 13.4% alcohol residual sugar: 0.08% Appellation: Russian River Valley

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