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Lumen Chardonnay 2013

Chardonnay from Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
  • WE92
13.9% ABV
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13.9% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This single-vineyard Chardonnay offers explosive lychee, honeydew, and pineapple fruit up front, focused around a firm, mineral-driven backbone. Hints of apple pie, cinnamon, and citrus peel flesh out the mid-palate, leading to a lingering finish accented by nutmeg spice and a subtle use of oak. Sturdy enough to stand up to odoriferous cheeses but elegant enough to compliment a souffle.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
Rich aromas of butterscotch, candied apples and hot buttered toast are presented in an appealing, judicious way on the nose of this wine. Meyer lemon and lychee give focus to the palate, which also delivers warm pear and almond flavors.
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Lumen
Lumen, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
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In 2012 Will Henry and Lane Tanner ran into each other in the Santa Maria Valley, and realized that they shared a common vision: to make wines from the best cool-climate vineyards in Santa Barbara County, and to follow a regimen consistent with California's early days of hands-on, honest winemaking. The duo asserts that the most balanced (and thus memorable) wines are made from fruit that is picked relatively early on the harvest calendar, the end result being a wine that is livelier on the palate, deeper in complexity, lower in alcohol, and more worthy of cellaring.

Lane has always had a reputation for being the first to call a pick in the vineyard. Even during the 1990's and 2000's, at a time when most of her peers were chasing Parker scores and pushing harvest times ever later, Lane held fast to her winemaking philosophy - scores or no scores. Ironically, her winemaking style has now come back into vogue.

Lane Tanner was one of the first female winemakers in Central California, and the first to dedicate her entire winery to Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir. Her knowledge of the Santa Maria Valley dates back to her first vintage in 1981, as oenologist for Firestone, a job that the legendary Andre Tchelistcheff recommended her for. She later made wine for Zaca Mesa and the Hitching Post, and finally under her own label in 1989. Her wines are notable for being low in alcohol and sulfites, a practice that she continues to this day.

Will Henry entered the wine business shortly after college in 1989 and worked at Leeuwin Estate Winery in Western Australia. He then entered wine sales and worked for The Henry Wine Group, his family's wine distribution company, on and off for the following 20 years. In the meantime he became a widely-published journalist and photographer, and also founded the non-profit organization Save The Waves Coalition. His knowledge of sales and marketing is the perfect complement to Lane's winemaking skills. Both Will and Lane make the wines together in Santa Maria, CA.

Santa Barbara

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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 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.

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.

HNYLUMCHY13C_2013 Item# 140700