Baileyana Grand Firepeak Cuvee Chardonnay 2008
Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
The Grand Firepeak Cuvee (or GFC) Chardonnay is a classically-styled Chardonnay is nicely structured and well balanced, with a subtle acid backbone. Flavors of apple and crisp pear are seamlessly woven with notes of citrus, minerality, and a hint of vanilla.
The Grand Firepeak Vineyard is the Niven family's estate vineyard on the most northern, coolest end of the Edna Valley on California's Central Coast. It's planted to a diverse clonal selction of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah. Cuvee is French term denoting a specific blend or batch, carefully assembled by a winemaker.
Wine Enthusiast - "There's some barrel influence in this Chardonnay, but the oak is way in the background. What stars is Edna Valley fruit, pure and refined and textbook varietal. Pineapples, tangerines, Meyer lemons, limes, kiwis, you get the idea--clean, acidic, mouthwatering citrus fruits--brilliantly crisp and tangy. Drink right away for maximum freshness."
Baileyana's winemaking facility is in the heart of the Edna Valley. The building was designed and built to Christian Roguenant's specifications. It houses a first-rate fruit delivery system, small presses, and many small open-top fermentors. In an adjacent building are three climate-controlled barrel rooms. The winery design allows Christian and his winemaking team a number of options for fermenting and aging the wines. Because they can treat each clone as a separate wine, they can identify and enhance the particularities of the very best lots. They then blend selected lots together in a way that creates the best of the best-the winemaker signature on our world-class Baileyana wines. View all Baileyana Winery Wines
About Central Coast
The largest of California's wine growing regions, the Central Coast produces the majority of California's wine. The district sprawls out, covering most of the vineyard land between San Francisco and Santa Barbara. Smaller sub-AVAs of the Central Coast include Monterey Bay, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains and many others.
Notable FactsGrape varieties range from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. Some Central Coast wine is generic, bulk wine that contributes to the high production numbers of the area. But many winemakers and wineries, particular in some of the smaller AVAs, are small production artisans, creating unique and high-quality wine. The great thing about the Central Coast is its diversity - you're able to find a number of grape varieties and styles at a number of different price points.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.