White Wines    Chardonnay    Santa Maria Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 10/21/2014
Cambria Katherine's Vineyard Chardonnay 2001
Cambria Katherine's Vineyard Chardonnay 2001
(search item no. 54340)
Wine & Spirits rating: 94 points
PRICE ON 10/21/2014: $19.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2012 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2012 Tasting Panel rating: 90 points
2011 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 91 points
2008 Wine & Spirits rating: 91 points
2007 The Wine News rating: 88 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2004 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2002 Wine & Spirits rating: 89 points
2000 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2000 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
1999 Wine & Spirits rating: 92 points
1999 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
1999 International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points
1998 The Wine Advocate rating: 89 points
1997 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points

Winemaker's Notes:

"A tribute to Cambria's consistent style and character, 2001 Katherine's Chardonnay is a lush, well-rounded wine revealing vibrant tropical flavors folded over hints of vanilla and pear. The finish is enduring, made memorable by notes of vanilla and oak spice."
-Fred Holloway, Winemaker

Katherine's Chardonnay is hand-harvested from the 1,405-acre, family-owned Cambria estate. As expected from the consistency of Cambria's fruit, this vintage speaks boldly of Santa Maria Valley's ideal climate and vineyard conditions for growing Chardonnay. Formed from alluvial deposits of the Sisquoc River, Cambria's soil is gravelly and exceptionally well draining—restricting vine vigor to promote the growth of Chardonnay with lush, concentrated flavors. The maritime influences that funnel in from the Pacific Ocean, cloak the Santa Maria Valley in mild temperatures, extending the vineyard's growing season to provide ample time to balance the fruit's acid profile and develop optimal varietal characteristics.

In the vineyard, the development of Katherine's fruit sets the stage for our winemaking process and lays the foundation for flavor and quality. Cambria's vineyard management techniques, such as leaf thinning, allow more sunlight on the clusters for full, even ripening and evolution of concentrated character. In addition, irrigation is minimized to restrict vine vigor and focus the vine's energy on the grapes. Also, underdeveloped fruit is taken off the vines at verasion to promote the growth of densely flavored clusters. Together, these techniques ensure maximum quality in the Chardonnay before beginning the winemaking process.

At harvest, Katherine's Chardonnay grapes were gently whole-cluster pressed to capture the fresh flavors while avoiding any harsh tannins. Primary and secondary fermentation took place in French oak barrels to enhance oak spice integration. To heighten and balance the lush texture in the mid-palate and fruitful flavor profile, the wine was aged sur lies for a period of eight months before bottling.
My Notes:

Additional wines from Cambria Winery:

About Cambria Winery:

Cambria is a private, family-owned estate winery that has carved out a reputation for producing lush, tropical Chardonnay, velvety-textured Pinot noir and rich, spicy Syrah since its inception in 1987. Cambria's proximity to the ocean and east-west orientation gives this 1,400-acre property the diversity it needs to grow Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah under perfectly suited conditions. As an estate property, Cambria's Vineyard Manager and Winemaker work in tandem to perfect the winegrowing process. Together, they select only the finest grapes from the estate to bear the Cambria name. Every grape is hand-harvested and crafted into wine with the utmost care and respect foe the varietal.

In recent years, Cambria has concentrated its vineyard and winemaking resources into amplifying different aspects of the Cambria estate. This effort launched an in-depth exploration of the vineyard and varieties on this cool-climate property. The result has elevated the quality of Cambria's core wines, created new site-focused and distinct winemaking styles, and dramatically highlighted the bold flavors of each variety. Today, the flagship wines, making up 90% of the production, include Katherine's Chardonnay, Julia's Pinot Noir and Tepusquet Syrah. Each wine represents the broad definition of flavor, for that variety, on the estate.