Chanin Los Alamos Vineyard Chardonnay 2017
Los Alamos Vineyard dates back to the late 1960s and is where Chanin started back in 2007 when they purchased one ton of their Chardonnay. The sandy soils, high elevation (900ft) of the blocks, and cool marine influence gives the wine great freshness, bright fruit and complicity.
These grapes were hand harvested early in the morning at 22.9 brix. They were pressed and directly put into French oak barrels (10% new) to ferment. The wine stayed there for 14 months on its lees and was then racked and lightly fined before being bottled unfiltered in March 2019.
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Chanin Wine Co. is dedicated to crafting wines from Santa Barbara County that reflect the individual vineyard in which they are grown. They focus on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, two grapes that are especially revealing of subtle differences in geography, geology and climate. The grapes are grown in Santa Barbara County, where cool coastal winds, diverse marine based soils and a long growing season provide an exciting and unique environment for Burgundian varieties.
The vineyards are the focus of all of the wines and each wine is made from grapes grown at one vineyard and not blended. Chanin searches out old vines, and makes wine from some of the oldest in the county. This allows them to make refreshingly balanced wines at lower alcohol levels than most California "blockbuster" or "cult" styled wines. Through low yields, improved farming techniques and gentle winemaking we aim to create a wine that pairs well with food and is delicious young, but is also age-worthy. All of the vineyards are organic or sustainably farmed.
Their winemaking philosophy is rooted in representing each individual vineyard by emphasizing balance, finesse, and complexity. They avoid excessive alcohol, and modern winemaking additives (such as commercial yeasts, bacteria, enzymes) that can overshadow vineyard characteristics. They also do not filter the wines or use intrusive wine processing machines. The goal is to grow grapes that are so healthy none of the above is needed.
With a dry and mild climate cooled significantly by moist ocean fog and breezes, Santa Barbara County is a grape-grower’s dream. Part of the larger Central Coast appellation, Santa Barbara is home to Santa Maria Valley and Santa Ynez Valley. The conditions here provide an opportunity for nearly effortless production of high-quality cool-climate Central Coast wines. This is also the site of the 2004 film Sideways, which caused Pinot Noir’s popularity to skyrocket and brought new acclaim to the region.
Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are the stars of Santa Barbara, producing wines marked by racy acidity. Crisp Sauvignon Blanc and savory Syrah are also important. The region is home to many young and enthusiastic winemakers eager to experiment with less common varieties including Chenin Blanc, Grüner Veltliner, Trousseau Gris, Gamay and Cabernet Franc, making it an exciting area to watch.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.