Bridlewood Monterey County Chardonnay 2009
Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
Proximity to the Pacific Ocean gives Monterey County the cool, foggy climate that is ideal for growing Chardonnay grapes. Typically, bud break begins several weeks earlier and harvest ends several weeks later in Monterey County than in other Central Coast growing regions. This extra month of time on the vine allows the grapes to develop a crisp, bright acidity and lush tropical flavors. Monterey County houses the significant Monterey AVA, which includes nine sub-regions, united by the cooling influence of Monterey Bay.
Wine Spectator - "Fresh floral, citrus, peach and nectarine aromas are smooth and easy-drinking in this complex white, which ends with a touch of sweetness. Drink now though 2013. 30,000 cases made."
Bridlewood joins a long and rich tradition of winemaking in Santa Barbara County. It wasn't until the 1960's and 1970's, when new breed of pioneering winemakers, including Dan Gehrs, started making wine in the broad area called the Central Coast, that a southern California winemaking renaissance occurred. Although the winery's capacity is 50,000 cases, releases for the first few years will be 10-15,000 cases. Growth will be consistent with the winery's philosophy of producing many small lots of high quality wines. View all Bridlewood Winery Wines
About Central CoastView a map of Central Coast wineries
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.