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The Ojai Vineyard, Bien Nacido Chardonnay, Santa Maria Valley, California, 2021

Regular price $36.75 Sale price $45.00
Save $8.25

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Overview of the Wine
Adam Tolmach went to UC Davis and studied viticulture and enology, and after graduating in 1976 he settled down on the property his grandfather bought in the Ojai Valley in 1933 to farm sweet corn and melons, selling them at a roadside stand. After two years of this satisfying, yet difficult and nearly profitless work he sought employment in his field of study.

Adam had planted a vineyard in Ojai to Syrah and Sauvignon Blanc and had begun producing wine from that fruit in 1983. When the collaboration with Clendenen ended he concentrated all his attention on The Ojai Vineyard to further explore the infinite details of his craft.

Looking back over the last 25 years, one can see the development of The Ojai Vineyard came in three distinct phases. In the beginning it was lots of fun discovering the budding Santa Barbara County, experimenting with new plantings, new areas, and a wide selection of varietals; Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, and other Rhone varietals. Back in 1983 the vines were grown without much care in what was called a California sprawl. It took years to get growers to move towards progressive practices like drip irrigation and vertical trellising to improved wine grape quality.

Grape / Blend
100% Chardonnay 

Santa Maria Valley, California

Winemaker's Tasting Notes
Bien Nacido often provides a racier style of Chardonnay with their approach, but some years the wine skews a little richer. Take this 2021 bottling. It’s lively and moderate in alcohol, yet the gradual ripening in this cool vintage lent some riper character. It’s floral and minerally, but also shows some decadence with scents of brioche, light honey, streaks of marmalade and fresh pineapple. The crisp entry flows into rounder textures that give flavors of poached pear, spice and lemon curd, then it ebbs back into minerals and citrusy verve.

The ample textures and food-friendly balance make it the perfect thing to pair with rich seafood (think Oysters Rockefeller).

94 Points - Jeb Dunnuck
The 2021 Chardonnay Bien Nacido Vineyard comes from one of the Grand Cru sites in California and has a classic style in its more honeyed orchard, musky orange, and pear-like fruits as well as chalky minerality and spice-driven nuances. Beautifully textured on the palate, it has a forward, supple mouthfeel, terrific balance, and a clean finish. Drink this any time over the coming decade.

Product size: 750ml


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