In 1993, one dark night during fermentation pumpovers William Jarvis accidentally pumped a third of a tank of Cabernet Franc into a tank of Cabernet Sauvignon. Both he and our winemaker consultant Dimitri Tchelistcheff were distraught until the fermentation was complete and Dimitri declared the wine “not that bad”. The accidental blend, something akin to a Bordeaux Blend was an immediate hit with the winery guests and since 1996, Lake William has been made yearly with that same blend of red grapes always coming from the vineyards cooled by the breezes off Lake William.
This is our top Chardonnay and is made using grapes from the Finch Hollow Vineyard. Our winemaker distinguishes this special selection of Chardonnay by using only the top-half of the barrels of Finch Hollow Chardonnay and bottling the wine unfined and unfiltered. By doing so, we retain the most delicate nuances of the Chardonnay's varietal character.
This unique Chardonnay features grapes from a special plot in our vineyard called Finch Hollow, which is characterized by particularly shallow soil with exceptional drainage. It was this portion of our vineyards most frequented by Finch Hollow's birds before we started netting all vineyards. The distinct terroir of this site offers intense tropical fruit notes in the grapes and we began bottling this section of the vineyard separately beginning with the 2000 vintage.
It's exciting to imagine that a young boy's science project could become a world class wine, but that's exactly what happened! Will Jarvis, the son of William and Leticia, made wine for his 8th grade science project. When sampled a decade later, the result was exceptional and inspired the 2007 debut vintage of this wine. It is made from a top Cabernet Franc plus a small, typically 5%, blend of Merlot and always in small half size barrels so as to approximate the original Science Project.