2016 Bien Nacido Chardonnay
Bien Nacido is one of the greatest and most storied vineyards in America. The combination of the terroir of Bien Nacido Vineyards, the diligence of the people who manage it, and the close relationships they have developed with so many of the producers in our local wine industry are the components of what make it so special.
The vineyard sits in the Santa Maria Valley which is heavily influenced by the nearby Pacific Ocean. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah have found great expression here as the cool climate bestows fresh acidity, minerality, and delicious savoriness. Our ‘W’ Block of Chardonnay was planted in the 1970s and is farmed organically today.
This bottling of Chardonnay was made by hand-picking at very low sugars and high acids. The fruit was whole-bunch pressed and the juice was sent straight to neutral French oak barrels for fermentation which was started spontaneously.
We aged the wine for eight months in barrel while stirring lees about once a month to help build texture and weight. The wine has also partially completed malolactic fermentation.
The resulting Chardonnay is supple, and textured throughout with lemon cream, pear, spice, and mineral aromas and flavors. The acidity is zippy and fresh, with texture and weight provided by the barrel aging and battonage. The wine finishes fresh and long with lemon, mineral, and toasty flavors.