The making of this wine was truly an adventure into the unknown for us. Having been a style still popular in Friuli-Venezia Giulia as well as Slovenia and Georgia as recently as the 1960s, skin-fermented whites are being rediscovered. The results of this method can be quite astonishing when handled with the appropriate finesse and nuance.
Our second take on the style, the 2021 Pellegrini Skin Fermented Chardonnay wafts butterscotch, black walnut, red d’anjou pear, and and coconut into the nose. It’s generous, soft tannin structure buoy tones of grapefruit, white pepper, and a long cedar finish.
Bazzano Vineyard is located two miles east of our Olivet Lane Estate, north of River Road near the town of Fulton. These hearty Old Wente clone vines are dry-farmed, thanks to the heavy clay soils in which they reside, lending great depth of fruit character. Hot afternoons are mitigated by a vigorous canopy, allowing for precise acid retention and bright fruit tones.
Grapes for this wine were destemmed directly to a small 2 ton open top tank the morning of the pick. Fermentation was encouraged immediately, bypassing cold soak, and submerged cap fermentation, a technique also found in our Gamay program, was utilized to fully incorporate body and tannin from the skins, while limiting harshness. This Chardonnay spent a total of 23 days on its skins. The resulting wine was pressed directly to barrel and very limited malolactic fermentation was allowed. It’s counterpart wine to be blended in (around 35%), also from Bazzano Vineyard, was barrel fermented, and treated in a manner fit for Olivet Lane Chardonnay, with regular barrel stirring to create volume to balance the firm tannins of the skin fermented portion.
Food Pairing Notes
Cashew chicken. Soft or hard cheeses, such as Sumatrin or Pecorino Romano.