For more than 30 years Whitehall Lane has been one of Napa Valley's premier Cabernet Sauvignon producers. Year after year, their wines garner a critical and commercial success that would make most of their neighbors content to stop there. Not the Leonardini Family, they wanted more. In this case, more meant dipping the family's Cabernet stained toe in white wine waters -- in particular, Chardonnay.
At Whitehall Lane nothing is done with "just ok" in mind so the Leonardini's called up long time friends and iconoclastic grape growers from Carneros, Tom Larson and Buck Sangiacomo, to guide them to the fruit that would meet the high standards of Whitehall Lane -- and success right out of the gate!
The Carneros region, where Larson and Sangiacomo have been farming some of the most sought after grapes for decades, is one of the coolest and often foggiest regions in northern California wine country. Bordered by Sonoma Mountain to the west and the Mayacamas Mountains to the north, Carneros is the land between the foothills and the saltwater marshes of San Francisco. The marine influence of the Bay and the Pacific Ocean creates a long, cool growing season ideal for Chardonnay. And within these cool, fog covered pockets, the Leonardini's of Whitehall Lane found Chardonnay nirvana.
Only the very best grapes were meticulously chosen by winemaker Dean Sylvester to best express the Whitehall Lane vision for their Carneros Chardonnay: a style that reflects the balance of grace and power evident in all Whitehall Lane wines.
The Sangiacomo vineyard brings bright fruit and good acidity from a colder, slightly higher elevation. The Larson Vineyard adds depth and richness. Both share the same Carneros soil type -- dense, shallow (approximately 3 feet deep), low to moderate fertility, and high clay content -- ensuring that the wine is seamless at every turn.
The Vineyards of Whitehall Lane
Without a doubt the folks at Whitehall lane did much better than "just ok" with this delicious Carneros Chardonnay, producing yet another wine to make their neighbors jealous!
"Straw yellow in color. Vivid stone fruits are abundant in the glass. Nectarines and pears combine for a stunning nose. A slightly leesy applely aroma makes it way to the front after a few swirls. The wine is bright and energetic in the glass showing very nice concentration. A light oaky spice componentent adds depth on the palate for a moderately long finish. The wine finishes with wonderful balance, wetting the palate for the next sip. Drink now or hold for a couple of more years."
--WineAccess Travel Log