Eden Rift Estate Chardonnay 2017
Shows great focus from beginning to end. It is bright with notes of exotic citrus as well as Bosc pear, lemon zest, orange cream, white flowers, and mineral notes. On the palate it is richly textured yet replete with acidity.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Extremely pure and crisp on the nose, this bottling starts with aromas of pure apple and crushed chalk. There is great zip to the sip and sharp flavors of white peach and lime custard that are vibrant and alive. Drink now–2032.
Cut from the same cloth, the 2017 Chardonnay Estate offers a beautiful lemon and stone fruit core as well as a touch of white flowers and creamy vanilla. It's a softer, more rounded, forward wine compared to the 2016 and will drink nicely for 2-3 years.
Grapes for the 2017 Chardonnay Estate were harvested September 18 and October 1-3. Aged in 18% new French oak for 10 months, the nose is brightly scented of Meyer lemon peel, fresh quince, Bosc pear and white peaches with a floral undercurrent plus touches of crushed slate and yeast. The palate is light-bodied, bright and fresh with honeyed bass notes and great freshness on the long, clean finish.
In the careful hands of early pioneers when California was still under Mexico’s flag, Eden Rift is one of the oldest continually operating estates in the US and is home to some of the earliest New World Pinot Noir plantings in 1861. The property’s first vineyards were planted in 1849 by a Bordeaux wine merchant. As the estate came into new ownership, the wines produced swept national and international competitions. Since then, the estate has changed hands several times, at one point producing wines under the label Valliant, belonging to the internationally known Hiram Walker House.
Today, the current proprietor of the estate, Christian Pillsbury, lives in the Dickinson House, a residence on the property fenced in by original Zinfandel plantings from 1906. Drawn to purchase the estate because of a personal connection, Pillsbury sees himself as chaperone of a place deeply important to the lineage of California wine. Before purchasing, Christian and his team researched the property’s daily temperature rhythms, soil, wind patterns and macro and micro climates to find the winery’s main focus, which has come to be Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. In addition to wine, the Eden Rift Estate also houses a granite stone mill that produces certified organic olive oil and is open to neighboring wineries for use on their own olive oil production.
With Christian’s vision in toe, he teamed up with venerable winemaker, Cory Waller. Cory is no stranger to American Pinot Noir, having studied under Napa’s Tony Soter and Oregon’s Josh Bergstrom and Jim Prosser. He was also assistant winemaker at the iconic California winery, Calera. Cory is well suited to the uber local project. Born and raised nearby, he boasts local farmers, ranchers and fishermen as some of his closest friends. His winemaking style limits intervention while focusing in the vineyard on vine stress and low yields. Since Christian’s purchase, Eden Rift has received attention from both local and National publications in its first two vintages.
Part of the larger Central Coast AVA, the valley was historically an important source of grapes for Almaden Vineyards before it was acquired by Constellation Brands in the 1980s. At 1,100 feet, the San Andreas Fault divides the valley so that one side is granite and sandstone, and the other is granite and limestone. Its position along the San Andreas fault makes the region well suited for excellent Central Coast wine production. Top varietals include Zinfandel, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Riesling, and rose.
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.