WOW 3.14.18 - 2015 Reserve Chardonnay, Bien Nacido


Welcome to our Wine of the Week feature where we will explore in depth and detail a current release wine that seriously WOWs us. From tasting notes to critic reviews, suggested pairings to winemaking notes, we wish to highlight a wine that you can buy today and enjoy to its fullest with a higher level of insight and understanding. 

If you’re wondering if you missed our last week’s WOW, it’s time we fess up – we were too busy enjoying the previous week's WOW, 2015 Reserve Pinot Noir from Bien Nacido and decided to give ourselves more time to linger on that beautiful Pinot before we jumped on to the next wine. Since our previous post, we’ve been graced with more rain and more California winter weather (which means our rain boots have been used almost a handful of times this year). And you know what that means… more delicious red wine by the fireplace. But! Who says you can’t enjoy a crisp, cold white wine while it rains outside? Not us! (In fact, our Manager, Jackie, unabashedly drinks white or rosé year-round so you’re in good company.) Therefore, although Ojai’s warmer spring weather has not yet made its appearance, we are currently LOVING our 2015 Reserve Chardonnay which also happens to come from our favorite Central Coast vineyard site, Bien Nacido!

The Wine: 

2015 Reserve Chardonnay, Bien Nacido Vineyard - $38 bottle, $30.40 wine club

Buy Now! On our website or in our Tasting Room. 

The Varietal:

There are two types of people in this world – those who love Chardonnay and those who loathe it. If you hate Chardonnay, we get what you mean. You know, that buttery bag of popcorn wine your Grandma drinks… overly rich and gaudy, like a bad Las Vegas hotel. Well, we’re not one for binaries. We don’t believe in positioning ourselves in either the “gotta have” or “gotta dump” Chardonnay groups so we sought out to make a Chardonnay for all palates. A Chardonnay with just the right amount of oak to round out it’s brighter flavors and a creamy, not buttery, texture to enhance its charm. There is a reason that everyone, including wine novices and connoisseurs alike, are familiar with the name Chardonnay and it’s because when it’s done right, it’s the perfect white wine.

The Vineyard:

Bien Nacido Vineyard - Santa Maria 

Another noble charmer from Bien Nacido Vineyard, this Chardonnay comes from the "I Block" an old vine planting in sandy-loam soils on the lower part of the vineyard. Low yields and long hang-time are typical of this block, and the resulting fruit is flavored with tropical fruits, chalk-like mineralality, and wildflowers.

If you're looking for an in depth description of Bien Nacido Vineyard, we encourage you to check out our last WOW blog post where we sing the praises of this wonderful site in full detail... 

What the critics say:

92 points - Wine Enthusiast Magazine 

"This bottling from a new winery in Ojai shows salty lemons and lush nectarine on the nose alongside a touch of chives and roasted chicken flesh. The palate deftly blends browned butter with crisp citrusy freshness and a strong textural grip, proving refreshing and rich at the same time. The finish is chalky with hints of sea salt caramel and sliced apple." - Matt Kettman, Wine Enthusiast

Wine Specs:

ABV: 13.3% 
pH: 3.15 
Oak: 40% new French oak
Aging: 11 months
Varieties: Chardonnay 
Appellation: Santa Maria Valley 
Cases Produced: 95
Winemaking Notes:

We barrel ferment this wine in a mix of new and neutral French Oak (that tends to have a gentle influence on the wine), using yeasts isolated from the famous vineyards of Meursault in Burgundy. This barrel regiment and yeast selection adds to the creamy and nutty characters in the wine, and softens the acidic backbone into something more refined. This is a wine that will stand the test of time with long cellar aging potential. As with all of our wines, however, we release them when they are ready to drink, and they can always be enjoyed young and fresh.

Suggested Pairing:

Crab cakes with homemade tartar sauce and freshly squeezed lemon!