The 2016 growing season was a welcomed one for the Flowers team when compared to the turbulent year prior. Much needed winter rains came in December and January which broke the dry cycle from the last four years, filling ponds and replenishing nutrients in our soils. Temperatures were cool enough on the estate to postpone bud break to the beginning of March; still early but not compared to prior years. A warm spring hinted at the potential of an accelerated growing season, providing fully developed clusters. Mild summer temperatures resulted in even ripening, and the balanced presence of coastal fog brought the phenolic chemistry of the fruit to optimal harvest levels during late August.
Our winemaking team meticulously tastes through every barrel to consider which barrels will make the final blend. Each barrel selected contains wonderfully expressive fruit, making the blending process arduous yet exciting. This year, three blocks were standout performers and represent the core of the 2016 vintage: Block 8 at Sea View Ridge with its full, fruit-forward nature, Block 11 at Camp Meeting Ridge, where meter-by-meter plantings provide intense concentration and structure, and Block 2 at Camp Meeting Ridge, with it's beautiful mid-palate texture.
The Moon Select blend is a singular wine of the vintage that is chosen from the very best of our estate barrels. Grapes were harvested in the early morning hours to ensure the fruit arrived at the winery at cool temperatures. We pressed the grapes as whole clusters and allowed the juice to settle for 24 hours before a gentle gravity transfer to French Oak barrels. After 100% native yeast fermentation, the wine continued to mature in-barrels: 100% French oak, 35% new for 14 months to allow the true expression of the vintage and varietal to stand out.
The dramatic landscape of the Sonoma Coast, with its steep hillsides and windswept foothills, gives us a diverse profile of well-draining soils, while direct proximity to the Pacific Ocean results in a long, cool growing season. These extreme coastal conditions allow us to produce a layered Chardonnay with bright fruit focus, complex minerality and crystalline acidity. Sourced from our organic and biodynamically farmed Camp Meeting Ridge Vineyard. Planted in 1991, these “older” vines are producing our most exciting and interesting Chardonnays to date. Given the extremes of this site, each small block ripens at its own pace. Picked by hand in the foggy frigidness of the early morning, fruit integrity and temperature were ensured for a whole cluster pressing by sunrise.
- Aging100% French Oak, 35% new, for 14 months