2018 Joy Late Harvest Chardonnay wine bottle 2018 Joy Late Harvest Chardonnay wine bottle

2018 Joy Late Harvest Chardonnay

This dessert wine is very special in that we are only able to make it when conditions allow, typically about once every five years.  The wine gets its sweetness from a mold known as botrytis.  Also known as a “noble rot”, botrytis dehydrates the grape within the skin, concentrating the sugar, acid and flavors.  The result is a naturally sweeter and very complex dessert wine.


This wine is an individual cluster selection from two of the oldest blocks of our Buchli Station Vineyard in Carneros. These blocks sit nearest San Pablo Bay, which provides moderate conditions so the grapes do not ripen too quickly as well as the ideal amount of humidity for development of botrytis.


2018 was one of our longest harvests in recent years. Starting on August 31st and finishing with a late chardonnay harvest on November 5th. The vintage will be remembered for its long periods of mild weather. This extended season meant the Joy fruit had a near perfect botrytis condition leading to the most concentrated levels of sugar we have ever seen. Sustainable farming practices throughout the growing season were tailored to each block with the assistance of aerial photography. The fruit was hand-picked and sorted in the vineyard.


Joy has a unique barrel fermentation and aging regime. With the belief that the fresher the toast of the barrel, the better the taste of the wine, the barrels were toasted the morning of the day that the wine was put to barrel. The wine is 100% barrel fermented.

Tasting Notes

Joy displays a golden- yellow color as a young wine that will deepen into a darker mahogany tone with age. The wine opens with enticing aromas of honey, ripe apricot and roasted nut that leap from the glass with high intensity. Those notes are echoed on the palate, along with luscious pineapple, crème brulee and vanille. The texture is decadent yet soft, finishing with fresh acidity. This wine ages beautifully, and can be cellared and enjoyed for years to come.

Recipe Pairings

Our favorite Joy of Cooking recipes for this wine include:

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