Coming on the heels of a vintage that saw plenty of rain return to the Napa Valley, the 2020 growing season was significantly drier. A warm winter with little precipitation gave way to limited late-spring showers and cooler temperatures—a combination that was bound to result in a small fruit set. Late summer heat spikes likely had even more of an impact valley-wide in 2020 than the lack of rain, but the Chardonnay blocks in the Mt. Veeder Estate Vineyard are early ripeners; so while other vines struggled in the Labor Day heat, all three Pulido~Walker clones had already been harvested.
And the good news kept coming. Because the warm, small crop ripened even earlier than usual, the natural acidity of the vintage was extremely well preserved. The sparser yield produced wines that were nicely concentrated at lower brix. And although the LNU Complex fire began on August 17, before the fruit was picked, the 2020 Pulido~Walker Estate Chardonnay seems not to have been impacted in any way. It has proven incredibly clean through countless tasting passes.