Chanin Los Alamos Vineyard Chardonnay 2019
Los Alamos Vineyard dates back to the late 1960s and is where Chanin began in 2007. The sandy soils, high elevation (900ft) of the blocks, and cool marine influence gives the wine a great freshness, bright fruit and complicity.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
We have notes of Gavin Chanin’s Los Alamos Vineyard chardonnays from nearly his first vintage, and there are themes, even specific words, that are common through the years—how the wines invariably feel open, transparent, expansive, wide. There is something about this place that Chanin was born to channel, and he has the good sense to stay out of its way. The ’19 is true to its forbears, perhaps displaying a bit more structure, more vertical assembly against which this wine’s cool and gentle flavors—caramel, pear, lees, a spray of coast fog—assemble. Buy a few bottles of this wine to cellar and to contemplate as you uncork them over the course of years.
Boasting a killer bouquet of reductive stone fruits, lemon, chalky minerality, and toast, the 2019 Chardonnay Los Alamos Vineyard is medium-bodied and has flawless balance as well as clean, integrated acidity. Brought up in just 15% new French oak, it’s unfortunate that there are a scant 485 cases produced. It’s beautiful today, yet I see no reason it won’t keep for 7-8 years if stored properly.
The 2019 Chardonnay Los Alamos Vineyard features bright lemon and stony character on the nose with notes of bakers yeast, toast and beeswax. The palate is satiny, soft and alluring, with polished acidity, perfumed fruits and a long, gently honeyed finish. Lovely! Best after 2022.
Strong aromas of struck stone and iron tailings meet with apple peels, melon and a hint of nut on the complex nose of this bottling. Tart apple flavors run into macadamia nut on the palate, which is framed in a firm tension.
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.