Bien Nacido and Sanford & Benedict Chardonnays Make Wine & Spirits’ “Year’s Best” list
We’re honored to have our 2011 Bien Nacido Chardonnay and our 2012 Sanford & Benedict Chardonnay on Wine & Spirits magazine’s list of “Year’s Best Chardonnay” in the October 2014 issue.
2011 Chanin Bien Nacido Chardonnay- 94 pts
A cool, wet year and aggressive triage left Gavin Chanin with about 20 percent of the fruit he normally gets off his rows of Bien Nacido bench land chardonnay, the vine roots dating back to 1973. Oak frames the wine, but the fruit’s powerful enough to match it, building from the lemony tang of its acidity into red-fruited musculature that suggests raspberries and apple skin. Its old-vine structure feels almost crunchy yet remains airy and aromatic amid its density of flavor. Blanquette de beau would match this concentrated chardonnay.
2012 Chanin Sanford & Benedict Chardonnay- 93 pts
From the oldest vines at sanford & Benedict, planted in 1972, this seems simple and not quite integrated at first, its prominent oak spice and ample alcohol shot through with lemony acidity. It takes a day of air for the fruit to show up, bringing sensations of crushed rock, dried pineapple and white flowers that meld with the nutmeg aspect of French oak into a beautiful earthen tone, crisp and succulent. Give this a few years in the cellar or a long decanting, then serve it with roasted head-on prawns.