2017 Six Cloves Nakai Vineyard Chardonnay

Winery

Sonoe Hirabayashi grew up on an apple farm in the foothills of the Northern Alps of Japan, yet she pursued a very American dream in working her way toward founding Six Cloves, her own California wine making and consulting business. After starting out working in New York in international trade and finance, Hirabayashi got bitten by the wine bug and left the east coast to study viticulture and enology at UC Davis. As her studies wound up, she began several years of internships, seasonal and full-time positions that included stints at Kusuda in New Zealand; Montsecano in Chile; and Gary Farrell, Littorai, Dehlinger, DRNK, and Sebastiani in Sonoma County. These experiences gave her the expertise as well as the confidence to conceive of a wine business with a Japan focus. Six Cloves provides consulting on exporting California wine to the Japanese market. Hirabayashi-san is also making wine she believes will appeal to Japanese consumers and match the delicacy of Japanese cuisine. 

Wine

Six Cloves’ first release is this refreshing but complex Russian River Valley Chardonnay. The Nakai Vineyard is an eight-hectare farm owned by Akiyoshi Nakai, who followed the classic path of a home winemaker becoming so smitten by the bug that he buys land in Sonoma County, plants and cultivates a vineyard and starts selling wine under his own label — all while maintaining a full-time job in San Francisco. Where his story diverges from others is that he started out in Tokyo, nowhere near a vineyard, and only strayed into winemaking when he didn’t know what else to do with a load of apricots his family picked on a visit to a farm in California’s Central Valley. Planted in the early 1980s, Nakai’s Chardonnay vines are well over 30 years old and in that phase of producing fruit with character and concentration. Only 56 cases were produced!

Winemaking

Fermented in stainless steel and aged 8 months in a combination of French and Hungarian oak (27% new). 

Appellation

Russian River Valley (Sonoma)

Varietal

Chardonnay

Size

750ml

Closure

Cork

Alcohol

14.0%

MLF

25%

UPC

NONE