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Leo Steen Harrison Block Chardonnay 2016

  • RP93
750ML / 13.5% ABV
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750ML / 13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This wine was crafted to express the creamy side of Chardonnay yet with lively acidity. Aromas of mandarin peel, Meyer lemon curd and hints of white pepper and white flowers. The palate echoes the citrus flavors with its creaminess and energy to a lingering finish.

Planted in 1980 these organically farmed vines are from a single old block. Located on the famed Tin Cross Ranch at 2,200 feet elevation in the Northern Mayacamas Mountain Range. The volcanic, gravelly soil is a well-drained site and gets abundant sunshine, while the elevation keeps it cool and preserves acidity in the grapes.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2016 Chardonnay Harrison Block opens with a very yeasty nose giving way to notions of fresh ginger, marzipan and chalk dust over a core of lemon meringue pie, white peaches and fresh pears. Medium to full-bodied, it has a gorgeous satiny texture with incredibly intense savory and citrus layers, finishing long with a compelling saline character.
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Leo Steen

Leo Steen

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Leo Steen, California
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At Leo Steen, I strive to make interesting wines with both a sense of place and a purpose. For me, the “purpose” of my wines has become a quintessential element in my winemaking philosophy. Years ago, before I embarked upon my journey as a winemaker, I was a sommelier guiding people through an exploration of the timeless relationship between wine and food. I loved thinking about how food and wine worked together, and offering people choices beyond the obvious. The satisfaction of introducing people to new varietals from exciting undiscovered vineyards, and showing how these wines enhanced great food, was and continues to be, thrilling for me.

When I founded Leo Steen Wines in 2004, those experiences stayed with me. I wanted to look beyond the standards—Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon—and instead offer people unique and interesting varietals. I also wanted people to able to enjoy my wines by the glass. This meant offering them at a price that was both accessible and fair, without ever sacrificing quality.

All of my wines are made by my own hand in small lots using gentle, traditional winemaking techniques. In the spectrum of California winemaking, they are crafted at lower alcohols, with very modest amounts of new oak, or none at all. While my wines offer lovely fruit, I strive to express the purity of these flavors as part of a balanced and harmonious whole. Finally, to ensure that every barrel of wine receives the attention it deserves (an idea symbolized by my Sommelier Prints), I make less than 1,000 cases each vintage.

I hope you enjoy my Leo Steen wines, and I thank you for your interest.

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Pine Mountain

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One of the highest growing appellations in California as well as the smallest, Pine Mountain incidentally extends into both Sonoma and Mendocino counties. Its vineyards range from 1,600 to about 3,000 feet in elevation at the top of Pine Mountain.

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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 is grown and how it is made. While practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy 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. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.

LSWLS16CH_2016 Item# 518183