Our 2013 Chardonnay was hand-picked into small totes, and then whole-cluster pressed. It was partly fermented in French Oak barrels to reveal the complexity of the fruit through the slow breathing process that happens in wood. The rest was fermented and aged in stainless steel to keep the vibrancy and fruitiness. Véronique then blended these two portions to create a wine of a more delicate nature - Arthur. To Véronique, it as if one brought together elements of a pure Chablis and an elegant Meursault.
The 2013 growing season was warm and relatively even. Picking began in mid-September under clear skies, and after a surprise burst of weather, optimal conditions returned for the last few days of picking. The result is an interesting marriage of cooler and warmer year characteristics, making 2013 a unique, balanced and exciting vintage in the Dundee Hills.
Each vintage of Arthur shares certain characteristics, on the nose, palate and finish, and 2013 is no different. I am intrigued by the pronounced stony quality and very interesting mineral nuances this year. Aromatically, there are discreet pear flavors combined with a touch of fresh almonds and mint. The palate is finely balanced with a wonderful round texture and excellent length. Overall I find this Arthur harmonious and very well integrated already, and I wouldn't hesitate to enjoy the wine now.