Santa Maria Valley
Yeah, I know, everyone is bored silly with chardonnay. But this is a wine that reminds us why we like to drink chardonnay. Bien Nacido custom farms these 30+ year old vines; meticulous care is taken to assure only the best fruit is retained, and from this we were able to make a wine that is both light on its feet and monumental in its intensity. This is because Bien Nacido is planted in a great spot for chardonnay, the natural acidity from the grapes here tempering the unctuous, low yield, old vine fruit.
We are using older barrels to raise this wine in. Mind you, this is not an economy move–we could save a hell of a lot more money if we chose to accept even slightly higher yields in the vineyard–but a conscious choice of style. In many cases, and in this vineyard in particular, I find the use of new oak barrels in the aging of chardonnay often overwhelms vineyard distinctiveness and negatively affects drink ability and food friendliness. To put it more succinctly, this wine tastes better when we don’t muck it up with oak.
Blend: 100% Chardonnay | Alcohol: 14.0% | Vinification: 100% Neutral French Oak | Barrel Aging: 12 Months