2009 'Bien Nacido Vineyard' Chardonnay
- Variety: Chardonnay
- Vintage: 2009
- Vineyard: Bien Nacido Vineyard
- Cases: 300
- Alc %: 12.8
This chardonnay comes from 39-year-old vines on the classic Santa Maria bench plantings of Bien Nacido. My goal is to make chardonnay in a style that is bent towards more mineral and racy wines. The old vines that I work with at Bien Nacido only enhance this outcome, and are a crucial element in this wine. We make chardonnay in the most minimalist way possible. The fruit is picked early in the morning (so that it is naturally cold) and pressed directly into a tank. As soon as the pressing is finished, the juice is put into barrel (1/3 new French oak) with all of its solids. The wine fermented completely dry through both primary and then later maloactic fermentation. It was then left to age (with only topping and small sulfur additions) until it was racked one year later. This wine was aged for 14 months on the lees and 18 months before bottling unfiltered.
2009 was a great year in Santa Barbara County in which a cool growing was punctuated by a late August heat wave that lasted two days. This led to masculine wines with lots of fruit and concentration without being over the top or lacking in acidity. The cool growing season led to higher acidity that I hope will endow these wines to age well for years.
This wine has amazing vibrancy. On the nose there is great minerality, sea salt, and stone fruit. Straw yellow in color this wine jumps out of the glass with aromas of fresh cherry, flowers and spice.
The palate is clean, long and refreshing with a delicious sweet core. With great fruit at only 12.8 % alc. this wine really shows off what a great vintage 2009 was.