2010 Chanin Wine Company "Bien Nacido Vineyard" Santa Maria Chardonnay

SKU #1112226 92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Light yellow-gold. Deeply pitched, musky aromas of citrus pith and anise, with complicating honey, smoke and truffle nuances. Fat and round, but with underlying minerality giving energy to the flavors of lemon, lime, licorice and minerals. Shows restrained sweetness and excellent balance, and finishes on an almost saline mineral note.  (12/2012)

K&L Notes

San Francisco Chronicle Top 100 Wines of 2012: "Gavin Chanin likes to say he doesn't pick early -- he picks on time. Based on his results from a vineyard that has defined California for nearly four decades, he's making a good point. A profound, benchmark expression of Bien Nacido, with ripe aromas of pineapple and Buddha's hand, plus that toasted-oat richness of Chardonnay on its lees, matched by intense mineral power." Chanin sources their Bien Nacido Chardonnay grapes from vines dating back to the original 1973 plantings when the vineyard was established. This imparts classic nuttiness to the wine with marked minerality. Winemaker Gavin Chanin delivers wines that have deep and developed flavors at modest alcohol levels, and the San Francisco Chronicle named him "Winemaker to Watch" in their January 15, 2012 publication.

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Price: $29.99
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- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Santa Maria/Santa Barbara

- Santa Maria and Santa Ynez make up the two AVAs of Santa Barbara County, an area known for its natural beauty and temperate climate. The best grape-growing areas, however, are located on the very coastal reaches of these two appellations, and are cooled by ever-present fog and ocean breezes (it is even cooler and foggier here than Carneros!). As expected, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir thrive while the more inland zones lay claim to Bordeaux varietals and some Rhône blends.
Alcohol Content (%): 13