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Gainey Chardonnay 2004

Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
  • WE90
0% ABV
  • WE90
  • WW91
  • WE91
  • RP90
  • WE88
  • WE92
  • WE90
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Winemaker Notes

"For those weary of oaky and buttery Chardonnay, here is a wine that delivers unmarked Chardonnay flavors and Santa Rita Hills character without over-the-top manipulation.

The first scents out of the glass are a flash back to childhood - honey grahams! This character is derived from the fermentation and aging process, not from the grapes. With new oak impact at an all-time low, one can actually see through the layers and depict the fruit. The grapes contribute caramelized pear qualities and an element of wet stone. Sweet creamed corn, butterscotch and a trace of smoke fill in the layers.

At first introduction, the wine displays bright, refreshing acidity. Flavors of sweet, perfectly ripe oranges and pineapple complement the slightly drying, but desirable character of minerals. This full-flavored wine maintains balance and levity with a bit of spritz. Flavors are long and lingering, with the essence of lemon drop candy providing a memorable send-off."
- Winemaker Kirby Anderson

Critical Acclaim

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WE 90
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Gainey

The Gainey Vineyard

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The Gainey Vineyard, Central Coast, California
2004 Chardonnay
In 1962, Daniel C. and son Daniel J. Gainey purchased an 1,800 acre ranch on the eastern end of the Santa Ynez Valley. The Gainey Ranch, a combination of cattle, farming, and Arabian horse breeding, became the largest diversified ranching operation in the valley.

Dan J. Gainey retired in 1984 to devote himself to fulfilling his dream of making wine. In 1983, he planted 51 acres of vineyards on the northern boundary of the Gainey Ranch and in November of 1984 the 12,000 square foot Spanish-style winery opened its doors to visitors. Soon after, Dan H. Gainey joined his father and together the father-son team have set out to produce premium, hand-crafted wines made from the best vineyards in Santa Barbara County.

With over 40 years of farming experience behind them, the Gaineys have a connection to the land that few vintners may share. Since the original vineyard planting in 1983, the Gaineys have added 32 acres to their "Home" Ranch, which is primarily planted to the Bordeaux varietals Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. In 1996, they purchased 120 acres on the western end of the Santa Ynez Valley, a cooler growing region more suitable for Burgundian varietals. In 1997, they planted 35 acres at this "Santa Rosa Hills" Ranch to Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah, with plans for further plantings in the years ahead.

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.

CLW11968_2004 Item# 92805

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