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2016 Byron "Nielson Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay (Elsewhere $40)

SKU #1438217 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Outer quote mark Chardonnay vines in the Nielson vineyard were originally planted in 1964; this wine comes from those cuttings used to replant. Youthfully shy on the nose, the 2016 Chardonnay Nielson Vineyard opens very minerally with aromas of saline, crushed shell, gunflint and toast with ripe Golden Delicious apple, baked quince, warm Meyer lemon, pie crust and peach. The palate is medium to full-bodied, rounded and silky, oozing layer after layer of ripe, savory, spicy fruits, framed with tangy acidity and finishing very long and very flavorful. About 43% new oak was used, and 100 cases were made. (EB) Inner quote mark (9/2019)

K&L Notes

Winemaker's Notes: "The Chardonnay vines in our Nielson Vineyard feature cuttings from the original "Wente" clone planted on our estate in 1964. The clusters we select contain an optimal mix of berry sizes: the larger, riper berries provide the wine’s rich stone fruit flavors while the smaller ones contribute to the wine’s firm acidity and underlying minerality. Just 195 cases were produced."

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Price: $29.99
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Product Reviews:

By: Kirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/3/2019 | Send Email
Wow. This is a really good CA Chardonnay. This hits all the classic notes one would expect from it but it is cool and effortless. Effortless the perfect word for this wine. Creamy and cool yellow fruits with mineral undertones. The wine rolls on the palate and remains fresh. This will impress all white wine drinkers.

By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/2/2019 | Send Email
Having tasted this wine on a few occasions over the last couple weeks, it's hard to think of a better example of classically rich, powerful California Chard than this right now. It's brimming with ripe fruit, baked apple, brioche, poached pear, and pie crust. It is rich and textural on the palate, with some toasty oak and spice. But at the same time, Santa Maria's very cool, ocean-influenced growing conditions, and Wente clone's naturally high malic acid, keep the whole thing in balance and reverberating across the length of the palate. Richness and power meet great verve and energy. Crowd pleasing in so many ways, it's an expression of Chardonnay that is impeccably well crafted and beautifully judged. With this HUGE score and not so huge price tag...we took everything we could get direct from the winery...when it's gone it's gone.

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