Home   Map   Blog Roll   WineCompass   Wine 101   My Compass 

Chardonnay Bien Nacido

Chardonnay Bien Nacido Wine Details

Description: The chardonnays from 2005 were marked by very high natural acidity levels, and the wines stubbornly refused to go through the acidity softening malo-lactic fermentation. The naturally occurring bacteria that cause this fermentation dislike very acidic conditions, so I went through a knock-down drag-out fight to get them to complete the malo-lactic. They did not cooperate, though fortunately all the mixing and stirring we did to encourage this secondary fermentation imparted a sense of yeasty richness that helps give the wines balance. This chardonnay possesses a dramatic smoky, toasty and lemony aroma, quite different from the usual tropical-fruit character that seems to define Bien Nacido Vineyard. Barrel fermented and aged in older French oak barrels, this very lively wine is the perfect foil for seafood. Although quite tart, it has a toasty rich character that lingers on the palate in a most delightful way.

Varietal Definition
Chardonnay is by far the most widely planted grape crop in California and dominates California’s cooler, coastal, quality wine regions. The natural varietal ‘taste and smell’ of Chardonnay is surprisingly unfamiliar to many wine drinkers, as its true character is often guised with dominating winemaking signatures. Chardonnay’s rather subdued primary fruit characteristics lean toward the crisp fruitiness of apples, pears and lemon, but the variety’s full body is capable of supporting a host of complementary characteristics, such as oak, butter and vanilla. Regardless of what is the appropriate style for Chardonnay, the varietal continues to dominate vineyard plantings in every corner of the world. Close attention to clonal selection has made this broad geographic and climactic range of Chardonnay viable in thoughtful viticultural hands.


Back to The Ojai Vineyard information