Santa Maria Valley
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This is the 20th chardonnay we have made from the same rows of the same block at Bien Nacido. This also marks our 11th year of making this chardonnay exclusively in older barrels—a move that was driven by the desire to capture the essence of these 38-year-old vines without the distraction of new wood aromas.
What has changed is the way the vineyard has been farmed. We have done away with synthetic pesticides and herbicides and are now farming it organically. But that is not all. Under the guidance of Chris Hammell, the vineyard manager, our plot is being farmed specifically for the low yields we insist on. And what’s more, we are pushing the vines to mature their fruit at lower sugar levels. This is being accomplished by managing the drip irrigation to stress the vines, tricking them into putting all of their energy into fruit maturation at an earlier stage. These efforts have given us a wine that is lighter on its feet. It’s more refreshing, more minerally, and just easier and more enjoyable to drink glass after glass.
Blend: 100% PinotNoir | Alc: 13.5% | Vinification: 100% Neutral French Oak | Barrel Aging: 10 Months | Total Production: 279 cases
Antonio Galloni’s Vinous
“Ojai’s 2010 Chardonnay Bien Nacido Vineyard comes across as rich, round and supple in this vintage. Lemon, floral-infused honey and Chamomile are some of the nuances that appear over time, but the 2010 is mostly a wine of texture. Floral and mineral notes reappear on the finish, but overall this is a fairly bold style for Ojai. Ideally, readers will give the 2010 another year or two of bottle age as today it is a bit tightly wound despite its considerable depth.” – AG 92 Points
Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar
“Pale gold. Highly aromatic bouquet evokes pit fruits, orange and anise, with a floral overtone. Deeply pitched nectarine and citrus zest flavors show a suave blend of richness and energy, picking up spiciness and an herbal nuance with air. Finishes with very good intensity, focus and citrussy persistence, leaving a spicy note behind.” – JR 91 Points