From the Winery:
TASTING NOTE: Bien Nacido often provides a racier style of Chardonnay with our approach, but some years the wine skews a little richer. Take this 2021 bottling. It’s lively and moderate in alcohol, yet the gradual ripening in this cool vintage lent some riper character. It’s floral and minerally, but also shows some decadence with scents of brioche, light honey, streaks of marmalade and fresh pineapple. The crisp entry flows into rounder textures that give flavors of poached pear, spice and lemon curd, then it ebbs back into minerals and citrusy citrusy verve. The ample textures and food-friendly balance make it the perfect thing to pair with rich seafood (think Oysters Rockefeller).
VINTAGE & WINEMAKING: 2021 was a terrific vintage for us in Santa Barbara County. While many other parts of the state were quite hot that year, our area remained anomalously cool and foggy. Fog is a major component of classic Santa Barbara County vintages, but it was more persistent than usual in 2021, and downright milky at times. This fruit This fruit was hand-harvested in the chill of the night with three picks in the middle of September. After pressing and overnight settling, we racked the juice into mostly neutral French oak barrels (15% new) and inoculated it with our house-cultured native yeast (cultured from fruit picked during sampling). We stirred it throughout primary and secondary fermentation, then left the wine to age on its lees for 11 months until bottling.
94 Points - Jeb Dunnuck