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Chanin Wine Company, Los Alamos Vineyard Pinot Noir 2018
Pinot Noir 100%
Santa Barbara County
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 Los Alamos Vineyard Pinot Noir is ripe and expressive but elegant. The nose shows nuances of herbs and mint alongside the bright red cherry and raspberry fruit. Great freshness and texture on the palate without being at all heavy.
The grapes were harvested on September 1st at 22.0 brix. The grapes underwent a four-day cold-soak with 1-3 punch-downs by hand daily. Once dry, the wine was pressed and put into French oak barrels (10% new) where it stayed for 14 months before being racked and 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 (2014) - Plums, passion fruit, spring flowers and hints of violet all emerge from the silky, beautifully polished 2014 Pinot Noir Los Alamos Vineyard, which comes from very sandy soils located just outside of Los Alamos. It spent 12 months in a tiny 12% of new French oak. Medium-bodied and exceedingly elegant, with beautifully polished tannin, it should evolve nicely for a decade.