2016 Ann Albert "Bien Nacido Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay (Elsewhere $40)

SKU #1440808 94 points Jeb Dunnuck

 Coming from a great site in the Santa Maria Valley, the 2016 Chardonnay Bien Nacido Vineyard spent 16 months all in neutral oak. It has a brilliant bouquet of crisp white peach, tart pineapple, salty minerality, and white flowers. This carries to a medium-bodied Chardonnay that has a silky, elegant texture, integrated acidity, and fabulous balance. This terrific effort will keep for upwards of a decade.  (10/2019)

93 points Wine Enthusiast

 Hazelnut, preserved lemon, warm toast and a touch of daffodil show on the nose of this single-vineyard bottling by Eric Johnson. There is a toasty quality to the tip of the sip before the fresh waves of lemon and creamy cherimoya set in, leading into a lush, rounded finish. (MK)  (9/2019)


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Price: $29.99

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By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/31/2019 | Send Email
One of my favorite wines of the year, period. Confession: when Eric, the winemaker, sent me a sample of this wine it took me way too long to get to it and taste it...however when I finally did I immediately sent him a note asking how much was available and could we take it all!? I consider him one of the best Chardonnay producers in the state, and believe Bien Nacido is one of California's Grand Crus. This wine has all the subtle power and intensity that this site can convey, expertly framed by Eric's light but precise touch in the cellar. Orchard fruit, white blossom, ocean spray and hazelnut and pie crust. Fantastic intensity on the palate mirroring the aromas with lip-smacking acidity and saline minerality. Don't serve this too cold as it really gains complexity and length as it warms and opens in the glass. A very serious bottle of Chardonnay that can stand toe-to-toe with the best of white Burgundy.

By: Thomas Smith | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/31/2019 | Send Email
There is something that is so dang classy about this Chardonnay. It has textured, rich aromas that seem to spill right out of the glass. Beeswax, marzipan, lemon curd. On the palate it follows up with weight, but not so much that is weighed down, or pushes the line. This is just right. There's purity, there's balance, it has everything that I like about bigger luxurious-styled Chardonnays, but with a more refreshing, balanced weight on the palate. Gorgeous wine.

By: Neal Fischer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/31/2019 | Send Email
Beautifully textured Chardonnay that's creamy and nutty. That texture and the flavors on the pallet are fairly rich, while the nose is elegant and fresh. With a little saltiness, the focus hits on lemon, pear, and apple skins for a buoyant Chard. 94 JD and 93 Vinous

By: John Sumners | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/17/2019 | Send Email
A graceful rendition from this legendary vineyard. Fresh and lively aromas of lemon curd, pineapple core, baked granny smith apple, rising sourdough, orange blossom, and white rose make an enticing initial impression. It comes across lithe and charming on the palate with a finishing touch of lime zest and macadamia. This is an extremely fine example of the wonderful elegance that can be coaxed from cool, coastal Santa Barbara fruit. While utterly delicious already, it should develop nicely over the next 5-7 years as well.

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