Pulenta Estate Chardonnay 2017
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
They don't want the oak to be the main ingredient in their 2017 Chardonnay, which was produced with grapes from vines planted in 1992 in Agrelo on alluvial soils. It was harvested at two different moments of ripeness and matured in French oak barrels for six months. 2017 was a short crop with good acidity. At the same time, grapes are being harvested earlier, and with their large vineyards, they can select what they use for their wines (they only use 30% of their grapes). This is balsamic, with notes of bay leaf, spices (white pepper) and white fruit. This is a new style of fresher, more fruit-driven Chardonnay with good freshness and, in this case, without malolactic or with just part of it. Tasty, clean and easy to drink. 42,000 bottles produced.
The Pulenta family has been a prominent and respected force in Argentine viticulture for three generations. Sons of well-known winegrower Antonio Pulenta, and descendants of Italian immigrants, Eduardo and Hugo Pulenta founded Pulenta Estate in 2002. The vineyards are estate-owned and farmed for high quality and limited yields. Their extensive holdings in the Agrelo area of Lujan de Cuyo have allowed them to create a broad portfolio that includes sauvignon blanc, pinot gris, chardonnay and malbec rose; merlot, cabernet franc, malbec and cabernet sauvignon in several tiers and even a late harvest red blend.
By far the largest and best-known winemaking province in Argentina, Mendoza is responsible for over 70% of the country’s enological output. Set in the eastern foothills of the Andes Mountains, the climate is dry and continental, presenting relatively few challenges for viticulturists during the growing season. Mendoza, divided into several distinctive sub-regions, including Luján de Cuyo and the Uco Valley, is the source of some of the country’s finest wines.
For many wine lovers, Mendoza is practically synonymous with Malbec. Originally a Bordelaise variety brought to Argentina by the French in the mid-1800s, here it found success and renown that it never knew in its homeland where a finicky climate gives mixed results. Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot and Pinot Noir are all widely planted here as well (and sometimes even blended with each other or Malbec). Mendoza's main white varieties include Chardonnay, Torrontés, Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon.
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.