2012 Caraccioli Cellars Chardonnay Brut Cuvée, USA, California

$52

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For generations, the Caraccioli family has been in the agricultural business and in the early 2000’s – Gary Caraccioli, his uncle and brother – decided they wanted in on the local Santa Lucia Highlands viticulture scene. In 2006, they launched Caraccioli Cellars with BIG plans for sparkling wine. “From 2006 through 2012 we worked very closely with Talbott and Hahn to source our Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The sites we chose showcase the balance and acidity we look for in our sparkling wines. All of our grapes are hand harvested into small totes, disallowing any premature crushing to occur prior to pressing. All sparkling lots are processed in 4 ton press loads, which is optimal when using the Coquard PAI Gravity Press. We utilize extremely light whole cluster pressing and only take the first 120 gallons/ton. The cuvée begins fermentation in 316 stainless steel tanks with 40% of the wines finishing the fermentation in neutral French Oak Barrels. The remaining 60% of the cuvée will also see time in oak, however the fermentation finished prior in stainless tanks. The total time on oak is approximately 2 months. The cuvée is then racked back to tank, and bottled. The Brut Cuvée is then left to age sur lies for 4 years. Riddled and disgorged in house we age for an additional 23 months prior to release on cork.” – Caraccioli Cellars