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Flat front label of wine

Bridlewood Monterey County Chardonnay 2009

Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
  • WS87
13.5% ABV
  • WE89
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13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

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.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 87
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.
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Bridlewood

Bridlewood Winery

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Bridlewood Winery, Central Coast, California
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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.

Central Coast

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The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces the majority of the state's wine. The sprawling district covers most of the vineyard land between San Francisco and Santa Barbara from the coast inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley. Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types, and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including Monterey, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, and Santa Cruz Mountains.

Just about every major international grape variety is planted within this vast AVA, from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. A significant proportion of the region’s produce is generic, inexpensive bulk wine, but the Central Coast is also home to many small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as everything in between.

Chardonnay

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.

GWS0573_2009 Item# 109444