The beautiful thing about receiving fruit from a vineyard called “El Diablo” – besides the beautiful fruit itself – is the way that the name itself makes everything it touches more mysterious, more romantic.

The first of our 2015 Chardonnays to be harvested, El Diablo arrived on our crushpad late in the morning of August 19th. The seven tons were separated by clone: six bins (3 tons) of Wente clone, four bins (2 tons) of Robert Young and four bins (2 tons) of Montrachet.

These three clones, picked simultaneously, will be combined in the press, co-fermented, aged and bottled as one. “It’s almost like our own Ulises Valdez Diablo clonal selection,” says Winemaker Jeff Gaffner. “It’s the ‘greater than the sum of its parts’ argument.”

El Diablo Vineyard Chardonnay - Wente Clone

El Diablo Vineyard Chardonnay – Wente Clone

The Wente clone has “great complexity and mouthfeel,” Jeff Gaffner says, “with really cool phenolics in the mouth. The Wente is very aromatic, with lemon oil and citrus.”

El Diablo Vineyard Chardonnay - Robert Young Clone

El Diablo Vineyard Chardonnay – Robert Young Clone

The Robert Young, he says, has more green fruit. “It tends to have green apple, that lemon oil and citrus again, but with a higher acidity and lower pH.”

El Diablo Vineyard Chardonnay - Montrachet Clone

El Diablo Vineyard Chardonnay – Montrachet Clone

To complete the trifecta, Montrachet “shows more fig, pear and tropical notes,” Gaffner concludes, “with a little lower acid, a little higher pH.”

The three clones will be blended together as soon as they enter the press, and we can’t wait to taste the deliciousness that results.

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