Neyers Carneros Chardonnay 2008
Chardonnay from Carneros, California
There's no great secret about what we do with Chardonnay at Neyers Vineyards: we rely on traditional French winemaking practices that in most instances have been in use for over a century. The fruit is completely protected from vine to winery. Although machines are increasingly used in the industry, our grapes are hand harvested. They are delivered to the winery only in the morning when temperatures are cooler. They are transported in small bins that hold only 1000 pounds. The juice is gently pressed from the grapes and transferred by air pump to our French oak barrels, which are custom-made from three-year-air-dried wood. The primary and secondary fermentations occur naturally, using native micro-flora found on the grape skins. The wine is removed from the barrels a year later for the first and only time, when we bottle.
This year's Carneros District Chardonnay looks to extend our successful run. The fruit used here is from vineyards owned and farmed by the Sangiacomo, Donnell, Yamakawa and Schrem families. The soils are all a combination of clay and loam. The wine is characterized by its exotic tropical fruit aromas and luscious, round flavors. There's a white peach component in the aftertaste, and the finish includes a touch of grilled bread. Delicious!
Wine Spectator - "Complex and layered, offering a full-bodied mix of toasty vanilla oak, ripe pear and fig, with touches of floral and spice. Ends with a complex finish. Drink now through 2012. 5,600 cases made."
The Wine Advocate - "One of his biggest production offerings (as well as one of his best) in his current portfolio is the 2008 Chardonnay Carneros (5,500 cases produced). Only 30% new oak is used in this cuvee-s upbringing, resulting in a wine that showcases California-s beautiful tropical fruit intermixed with white peaches, brioche, honeysuckle, and citrus oil. Drink this fresh, medium to full-bodied, delicious, seductive Chardonnay over the next 2-3 years. "
Begun in 1992 by Bruce and Barbara Neyers and their winemaking partner, Ehren Jordan, Neyers Vineyards produces 15,000 cases of wine annually. They rely primarily on Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon grown on the Neyers' 50-acre Conn Valley ranch farmed by Hugo and Lupe Maldonado. Additioanl grapes are purchased from a select group of growers, several of which are identified on the labels of wines produced from grapes they have grown. In 1999 Neyers purchased the 30-acre Sage Canyon Winery in the foothills east of Rutherford and have developed that facility for their entire production that also includes Syrah, Grenache, Zinfandel and Chardonnay. View all Neyers Wines
About CarnerosView a map of Carneros wineries
Technically a part of Napa Valley, the Carneros region straddles both Sonoma & Napa counties. It's the Napa region closest to the San Francisco peninsula and the San Pablo Bay, which is instrumental in controlling the climate of the area. The winds from the San Pablo bay create a cool weather pattern ideal for growing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Notable FactsBoth Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Carneros are delicate, yet complex, with firm structure and acidity. And while the pair are the most popular varieties of the region, some winemakers have branched out, particularly with Syrah. The cool climate Syrah of Carneros is well structured and stylistically similar to Syrah from the Northern Rhone, though often fuller-bodied.
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.