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McIntyre Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay 2015

Chardonnay from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
  • RP90
14.2% ABV
  • WE91
  • WS91
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14.2% ABV

Winemaker Notes

2015 turned out to be an exceptional vintage for Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay. The wines possess all of McIntyre's favorite attributes: concentration, viscosity, purity, minerality and structure. This SLH bottling offers a great overview of the AVA. The nose is deep and powerful with notes of grilled almonds, toast and oak. The palate is rich, creamy and stunningly firm. While it drinks well now, this Chardonnay should continue to evolve and improve over the next few years.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2015 Chardonnay Estate has a lovely lemon curd, fresh grapefruit and spiced apple-scented nose with touches of baking bread and coriander seed. Medium-bodied, satiny textured and with lovely freshness, it delivers a good intensity of apple and citrus notes with a soft, creamy finish.
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McIntyre

McIntyre Vineyards

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McIntyre Vineyards, Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
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The McIntyre estate vineyard is located in the central section of the Santa Lucia Highlands. Originally planted by the McFarland family in 1973, it boasts some of the Highlands oldest Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines. A 1979 Pinot Noir from the vineyard, under the Stony Hill label, is still regarded as one of the finest early varietally-labeled Pinots from the district.

Early bud break and fruit set are one of the advantages of McIntyres highland location. Mid-season leaf pulling and other canopy management techniques help focus the vine's efforts. Harvest on the McIntyre estate typically begins in mid-September and can run to late October. The McIntyre family employs sustainable viticultural practices on the home estate, through the use of biodiverse systems and cover crops.

Santa Lucia Highlands

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Perhaps the most highly regarded appellation within Monterey County, Santa Lucia Highlands AVA benefits from a combination of warm morning sunshine and bracing afternoon breezes. This allows grapes to ripen slowly and fully, resulting in concentrated, flavorful wines that retain their natural acidity. Wineries here do not shy away from innovation, and place a high priority on “green” viticultural practices.

The climatic conditions here are perfectly suited to the production of ripe, rich Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. These Burgundian varieties dominate an overwhelming percentage of plantings, though growers have also found success with Syrah, Riesling, and Pinot Gris.

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.

WWH147548_2015 Item# 360981