New Releases Coming Soon reports on the 2014 IPOB tasting reports on the 2014 IPOB tasting

Report on the 4th annual In Pursuit of Balance (IPOB) Tasting, on Monday March 10th, 2014, at Bluxome Street Winery in San Francisco. The event showcases current releases of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from California producers.

In Pursuit of Balance San Francisco events included two seminars preceding the afternoon trade/media tasting. I attended the trade/media portion of the tasting in the afternoon of March 10th; there was a public tasting in the evening. The tasting notes that are part of this report are all from the Monday afternoon trade/media tasting.

In Pursuit of Balance was founded by Rajat Parr of Michael Mina Restaurants and Sandhi Wines, and Jasmine Hirsch of Hirsch Vineyards. The organization seeks “to promote dialogue around the meaning and relevance of balance in California Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.” A more in-depth statement of the group’s beliefs can be found in their “Manifesto of Balance” on the IPOB website.

Read the full post here.

Chanin 2012 Chardonnay, Los Alamos Vineyard, Santa Barbara County. Barrel-fermented in 15% new French oak. Very light straw color, with bright lemon and spice aromas plus touches of lees, earth, and oak. Medium-light bodied with a clean, crisp mouthfeel and finish, nice.

Chanin 2012 Chardonnay, Bien Nacido Vineyard, Santa Maria Valley. Sourced from 39-year old vines, barrel-fermented in 30% new French oak. Very light color, this showed apple and pear fruit, baking spice, and slightly toasty oak. Bigger on the palate than the previous wine but still lively and fresh.

Chanin 2012 Chardonnay, Sanford & Benedict Vineyard, Sta. Rita Hills. Barrel-fermented in 25% new French oak. Very light color, displaying more high-toned green apple character along with spice, lees, and herbs. Medium-rich mouthfeel with a slightly rounder texture and smooth finish.

Chanin 2012 Pinot Noir, Los Alamos Vineyard, Santa Barbara County. From 115 and 777 clones, aged in 20% new French oak. Medium-light ruby color, featuring cranberry and strawberry fruit, tea leaf, spice, and a slight orangepeel note. Lighter-bodied with bright acidity and a clean finish – nice already but should benefit from time in the cellar too.

Chanin 2012 Pinot Noir, La Rinconada Vineyard, Sta. Rita Hills. Barrel-aged in 25% new French oak. Slightly darker color, this showed a darker fruit profile of plum and darker berries, along with a bigger spice component. Richer mouthfeel with good structure and firm tannins.

Comments: Chanin Wine Company was founded by Gavin Chanin in 2007. He has been making a single Chardonnay and Pinot from two Santa Barbara County vineyards each year. Current wines are sourced from some of the oldest plantings in the region. Chardonnays are whole-cluster pressed to tank but not settled before they’re racked to barrel and aged on the lees for up to 14 months. There is generally some whole-cluster fermentation on the Pinots but this varies by vineyard and vintage. Gavin poured a strong line-up again at IPOB this year.