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Chanin Wine Company, Bien Nacido Vineyard Chardonnay 2018
Santa Maria Valley
The Chanin Wine Co. crafts wines from various vineyards in Santa Barbara county that are intended to express the best characteristics of their individual site. The wines emphasise balance and complexity without excessive alcohol. The Bien Nacido Chardonnay is wonderfully nutty, with ripe lemon fruit and salty mineral touches. Aged in oak for 15 months but only 10% of this is new. Lots of Californian Chardonnays claim to be restrained and elegant, but this truly embodies these qualities in a seemingly effortless manner.
These grapes were hand harvested early in the morning of August 26th & September 1st at 22.4 brix. They were pressed and directly put into French oak barrels (10% new) to ferment. The wine stayed there for 15 months on its lees and was then racked and lightly fined before being bottled unfiltered in February of 2018.
Gavin Chanin is one of the most charismatic winemakers in Santa Barbara. He knows the area of Santa Barbara like the back of his hand and has fantastic contacts throughout the region that allow him access to not just the best vineyards but the best bits of the best vineyards. His love of the wines from Burgundy perhaps inspires his desire to make wines that exude freshness, precision, balance and complexity. He is not looking for instant gratification but subtlety and length and consequently he seeks out sites with stonier soils and less obvious exposure and then picks before the grapes become too rich. - Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate Aug 2012.This winery was founded by Gavin Chanin who studied under Jim Clendenen at Au Bon Climat and Bob Lindquist at Qupe. He worked his first harvest at age eighteen at Au Bon Climat and three years later made his first wine. He then left for some harvest experience in New Zealand and South Africa. His wines are p[roducedl in the same facility in Santa Maria that houses Au Bon Climat and Qupe and is also the assistant winemaker for both labels.Jim Clendenen, Bob Lindquist, Adam Tolmach, and Tony Chanin started at Zaca Mesa Winery. Zaca Mesa was built in 1978 and was one of the earliest wineries in the Santa Ynez Valley. When Clendenen and Tolmach founded Au Bon Climat, Tony Chanin went back to his family's business and in 1991, Tolmach left Au Bon Climat to start The Ojai Vineyard. Gavin Chanin, Tony's son, started working summers at Au Bon Climat after graduating from high school in 2004. In 2009 he graduated Phi Beta Kappa from UCLA with a major in art and started working full time at Au Bon Climat and Qupe.His winemaking goal is to pick grapes early to limit the alcohol and preserve a wine's expression of terroir. The first Chanin Pinot Noir was released in 2009 from the 2007 vintage and sourced from Le Bon Climat Vineyard. In 2008 he added Bien Nacido Vineyard as a Pinot Noir source. The emphasis is on elegant, restrained Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from Santa Barbara County. Gavin Chanin grew up tasting the classic wines of Europe since his uncle was a major wine collector. He eventually embraced those styles in his own winemaking.The bottles are literally works of art as each bears a painting done by Gavin Chanin the artist. - from Prince of Pinot
Wine Advocate 93pts (2016) - The 2016 Chardonnay Bien Nacido Vineyard is very attractive, wafting from the glass with a crisp bouquet of citrus pith, smoke, fresh apple, toasted nuts and struck match. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied with a satiny texture, a bright line of mouthwatering acidity, and creditable concentration and depth. This should really blossom with a little bottle age, though it's approachable now.
Vinous 92pts (2016) - The 2016 Chardonnay Los Alamos Vineyard is gorgeous. Polished, nuanced and super-expressive, the Los Alamos is all class. Apricot, peach, smoke, chamomile and lightly buttery notes are all finely knit in this super-expressive and inviting Chardonnay from Gavin Chanin