Galloni of Vinous said Chanin wines stand out for their ‘understated finesse and elegance’!
Gavin Chanin describes 2021 as a mostly cool, sunny year, with cool weather also during flowering that resulted in smaller berries with thicker skins. The wines are gorgeous. The Chardonnays are pressed to barrel, with no settling, where they stay for 13-14 months before being racked for the first time and moved back into wood. Pinot Noirs typically see 35-50% whole clusters, but stems are rarely a pronounced signature. The Chanin wines stand out for their understated finesse and elegance. In 2021, the Chardonnays are especially fine.
94 Points- 2021 ‘Los Alamos Vineyard’ Chardonnay
The 2021 Chardonnay Los Alamos Vineyard marries the aromatic lift of this site with a good deal of stony intensity and drive. There’s an understated depth here that is absolutely beguiling. The Los Alamos is usually a more ethereal wine, but the 2021 has an added kick if mid-palate richness that is compelling. Citrus peel, mint, white pepper and chalk linger on the bright, intensely saline finish.
96 Points- 2021 ‘Bien Nacido Vineyard’ Chardonnay
The 2021 Chardonnay Bien Nacido Vineyard is fabulous. Creamy, rich, and layered, the 2021 is exquisite. Lemon oil, white pepper, chalk and chamomile all meld together in a Chardonnay of unusual viscosity. Even with all of its intensity, the 2021 remains light on its feet. Gavin Chanin certainly made the most of this fruit. What a wine.
96 Points- 2021 ‘Sanford & Benedict Vineyard’ Chardonnay
The 2021 Chardonnay Sanford & Benedict Vineyard is bright, airy and e!usive. This emerges from the own-rooted section of this site. Crushed flowers, lemon peel, mint, lemon confit and chamomile are some of the notes that grace this subtle, wonderfully nuanced Chardonnay. This is all subtlety and class.
95 Points- 2021 ‘Zotovich Vineyard’ Chardonnay
The 2021 Chardonnay Zotovich is bright and focused, with terrific depth and tons of character. Savory and mineral notes are pushed forward, while the fruit is more in the background. Citrus peel, dried flowers, herbs, mint, sage and crushed rocks all run through this potent, driving Chardonnay. This feels a bit tight today, so a bit of cellaring is advisable.
93 Points- 2021 ‘Los Alamos Vineyard’ Pinot Noir
The 2021 Pinot Noir Los Alamos Vineyard is gracious and effusive as wines from this site tend to be. Crushed flowers, bright, red-toned fruit, cedar, tobacco, and dried flowers all grace this refined, nuanced Pinot. Silky tannins wrap it all together. This is such a pretty wine.
94 Points- 2021 ‘Zotovich Vineyard’ Pinot Noir
The 2021 Pinot Noir Zotovich Vineyard is one of the most ethereal wines in the range. Kirsch, dried red cherry fruit, orange peel, cinnamon and pine give the 2021 a bright upper register of aromatics. Delicate and sensual, the Zotovich is especially fine in 2021.
94 Points- 2021 ‘Bien Nacido Vineyard’ Pinot NoirThe 2021 Pinot Noir Bien Nacido Vineyard is a powerful, heady wine. Today, the 2021 is a bit closed, which I think may be attributable to the 35% whole clusters. Red cherry fruit, blood orange, mint, star anise and cinnamon lend an exotic flair. This deceptively medium-bodied Pinot packs quite the punch. Give it time.
95 Points- 2021 ‘Sanford & Benedict Vineyard’ Pinot NoirThe 2021 Pinot Noir Sanford & Benedict Vineyard is beguiling. Bright, lifted and beautifully focused, Chanin’s 2021 captures all the magic of this site. Blood orange, mint and sweet spice meld into a core of bright, red-toned fruit. Medium in body and yet wonderfully deep, the S&B is a total knock-out. The 50% whole clusters are not at all evident.
94 Points- 2021 ‘Wild King Vineyard’
The 2021 Pinot Noir Wild King is a new wine from a site in Santa Maria that had essentially been abandoned until a small group of producers took over the farming for 2021. Bright acids drive through a core of red/purplish fruit, mint, and sage. The Wild King lives up to its name with an eccentric, intensely aromatic profile. Despite very small berries, alcohol here is only 12%. I can only describe the 2021 as a mind-bending Pinot.
93 Points- 2021 ‘Durell Vineyard’ Syrah
The 2021 Syrah Durrell Vineyard is a decidedly potent wine. Dark-fleshed fruit, game, earthiness,tobacco, incense, licorice, and a good dose of savoriness from the 50% stems give this old-school California Syrah tons of personality. I would cellar this for a year or two…