Santa Maria Valley
Winemakers love to say how much they hate chardonnay. And I am happy to tell you that in my home I mostly drink German and Austrian wines when a white wine is called for. However, I actually like chardonnay when it is made in a way that is food friendly. Unfortunately, though, most of the wine world seems to think chardonnay is supposed to be an oak-y, low acid, sweet cocktail. At the winery here, we take a different approach. Bien Nacido has always been known for its unique chardonnay fruit, and I have found that by choosing to farm our block with more attention to detail and lower yields, the fruit is even more intensely flavored. In this very cool climate spot, the grapes retain high natural acidity, an essential ingredient in making wines that go well with food. Also, for the last five years, we have been aging the wine exclusively in older barrels, to avoid trampling the distinctiveness of the vineyard with the flavor of oak. This is not an economy move, growers are not fools, and if we halve the crop, they insist on doubling the price for a ton of fruit. This expense turns out to be much greater than the cost of buying new barrels. The 2003 Chardonnay Bien Nacido is a very inviting wine. The flavors are crisp and refreshing; you really will want a second glass of this wine.
Blend: 100% Chardonnay | Alcohol: 14.0% | Vinification: 100% Neutral French Oak | Barrel Aging: 12 Months