2017 Saintsbury Carneros Chardonnay

2017 Saintsbury Carneros Chardonnay

¥4,950 (incl. tax)

The secrets to Saintsbury’s energetic and zesty Chardonnay lie in the gentle hills, loam and clay soils, and cool summers of the Carneros region. But vineyards planted to ten over clones of Chardonnay and decades of winemaking experience also play a role in the complexity and nuance of this wine. Burgundian cellar methods, such as sur lie aging and battonage, extract flavor and ensure that fruit and natural acidity remain in perfect balance. In 2017, a wet winter was followed by a summer of mostly moderate temperatures that allowed the winery to harvest the fruit in a leisurely manner over a 40-day period.  The wine is a moderate 13.5% alcohol and tastes fresh and zippy. It will pair well with braised chicken with lemon and olives, grilled whole fish, or creamy cheeses.

Winery


Winery Description

Andre Tchelistcheff , the great Russian emigre winemaker/prophet, proclaimed that Carneros with its cool climate would one day produce Northern California’s best Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Though a few growers and sparkling wine producers in the 1970s heeded his call and began planting vineyards in the district, it took a few years for a winery to focus on making a true Carneros Chardonnay or Pinot Noir. One of the pioneers in this area was Saintsbury.

 Founded in 1981 by Richard Ward and David Graves (who had met in an oenology class at UC Davis) Saintsbury has always aimed to produce distinctive Pinot Noir and Chardonnay exclusively from the cool and windy terroir of Carneros. Starting small, success came quickly, with the winery growing to 35,000 cases within 10 years. Over the years, Saintsbury has focused almost entirely on single vineyard and appellation-designated Pinot Noir and Chardonnay – though recently it has begun to make wine from vineyards in the Anderson Valley and to produce some Carneros Syrah as well. Saintsbury was an early adopter of using varietal clones to improve their wine by, for example, planting a particular vineyard site with the most appropriate clones or by using clonal diversity to achieve more complexity. A few years ago, Saintsbury sold off its Garnet line of high value wines in order to focus on appellation-designated or single vineyard wines. Frenchman Jerome Chery, the winemaker since 2004, is a specialist in these sorts of wines.

About this Wine


Country USA
Region California
Appellation(s) Carneros
Winery Saintsbury
Vintage 2017
Color White
Varietal(s) Chardonnay
Closure Screw Cap
Volume 750ml
Bottle Size 8.0 x 29.5
Case Size 35.5 x 27.0 x 30.5
Alcohol 13.5%
Product Code SA17CCH
UPC 732458950179

Owning & Enjoying


Tasting notes

90 points – Wine Enthusiast.

White nectarine, peaches and notes of nuts and toast open up to a palate of tangy citrus, stone fruit and chamomile. The finish is pleasant with fresh acidity and mineral notes.

Production


Vinification

The grapes were pressed gently in whole clusters, fermented in barrels, aged on the lees and subjected to mild stirring. The wine went through complete malolactic fermentation and aged for a total of 8 months in 10% new French oak.

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