Sorry, technical notes not available for this vintage.
Release Date: Spring 1998
1996 was a challenging year from the standpoint of ripening. A prolonged heat wave in August sent sugars soaring and the august among us had to take a deep breath and do nothing. What we realized was the the crucial element of flavor development had not happened, so rather than harvest under-ripe grapes high in sugar, we waited.
Thankfully, the weather turned cool and the sugars actually dropped: quite unusual. September weather remained vintner friendly and a small but profound harvest ensued.
The style of the ’96 vintage is ripe and rounder than usual. Hints of cardamom, anise, and hazelnut add interest to the overall lemon and melon flavors. Barrel-fermented and aged in new Burgundy barrels, this 1996 finishes with the energy and length you have come to expect.
Typical of the Chardonnay grown atop Mount Eden, it is slow to evolve. After bottling in the summer following the vintage, it still needs a year or two more aging in the bottle to become sublime. Therefore, be patient: ten-year-old bottles can be outrageously good.