2014 Foxen "Bien Nacido Vineyard - Block UU" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay

SKU #1240722 95 points Vinous

 Foxen's 2014 Chardonnay Bien Nacido Vineyard Block UU is one of the quirkiest California Chardonnays readers will come across. The plant material here is Chardonnay grafted onto own-rooted Riesling rootstock that was originally planted in the early 1970s. Oddly enough, this wine often shows distinctly tropical, Riesling-inflected notes, as it does again in 2014. White peach, ash, slate, pear and crushed rocks show superb energy allied to power in a Chardonnay with searing intensity, fabulous balance and tons of personality. Proprietors Bill Wathen and Dick Doré are at the top of their game. This superb set of wines from Foxen also provides fascinating insights into the 2013 vintage, as the Chardonnays and Syrahs are more consistent and brilliant than their Pinot Noir counterparts, which is an accurate depiction of the strengths and weaknesses of the year more broadly...All of the wines see minimal handling and are bottled with no fining or filtration...These are some of the most expressive, singular wines being made in Santa Barbara County today. (AG)  (8/2015)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The lemon, floral, citrus and crushed mint-scented 2014 Chardonnay Bien Nacido Block Uu has a touch of buttery richness in its medium-bodied, juicy, lively and nicely balanced style. Barrel-fermented and aged (10% new), it’s an outstanding Chardonnay to drink over the coming 4-5 years. This Santa Maria estate is run with incredible talent and passion by Bill Wathen and Dick Doré, who have been making wine together since 1985. They completed construction on a new winery in 2009 and they fashion a number of whites, numerous single vineyard and appellation Pinot Noirs, two Syrahs, and three Bordeaux blends. The wines are always impeccably made and shine more for their elegance and nuance than sheer power and richness. (JD)  (8/2016)

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By: Bryan Brick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/8/2016 | Send Email
Many of you know just how impressive the Foxen Pinot Noirs are these days. Produced from some of the best sites in the Central Coast, they have been impressing the critics, K&L Staff members and our customers alike for the last few years. The big secret is that their Chardonnays are every bit as good as their Pinots, maybe even better. The Block UU bottling is a perfect example of what I’m talking about. From a 31 acre vineyard planted in 1973 to Clone 4 Chardonnay, this is some of the oldest Chardonnay planted in the Central Coast and the intensity of these vines shines through in the wine. Concentrated and weighty the nose is packed with notes of milled corn, Porcini mushroom and touched of whipped butter and fresh cream; however, this is far from another big, buttery, oaky Chardonnay. With only a smattering of new oak every year, between 10-15%, this lets the power and vigor of these older vines shine through. Energetic flavors of Tangelo, orange pith, white sage and crushed rock shine on the weighty/oily palate. Fully flavored yet in no way clumsy or overblown, this is a singular Chard that is not trying to be like any White Burgundy, Napa Valley or other great Chard, and it doesn’t need to be. It’s fantastic just being itself.

By: Dulcinea Gonzalez | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/5/2016 | Send Email
Here's another truly dynamic wine that shows an elegant expression of Bien Nacido that I have come to expect from Foxen Vineyards. The Block UU delivers a fragrant peachy fresh nose and is followed by a balanced mid-palate that is layered with a purity of fruit, richness and spice. This is a perfect middle weight California Chardonnay that any wine connoisseur can appreciate, and the succulent finish will keep you coming back for more.

By: Andrew Stevens | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/5/2016 | Send Email
From the famous Bien Nacido Vineyard, Foxen brings a beautifully balanced Chardonnay. Juicy notes of white peach, nutty notes, and a medium leesy richness all are present in this wine. For those looking for the weight and fruit a good California Chardonnay has to offer, this is a wonderful place to start.

By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/3/2016 | Send Email
Lovely yellow stone fruit, peach cobbler, slight nutty / lees note adds richness and length. Classic style, a lovely rendition of CA Chardonnay that often times gets a bad rep. One of my favorite vineyards in CA - Bien Nacido again delivers the goods.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Chardonnay

- 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.
Country:

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.
Sub-Region:

California

- 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 (%): 13.8