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Ojai Chardonnay Santa Maria Valley Bien Nacido Vineyard 2005

Winemaker's Notes:

2005 CHARDONNAY BIEN NACIDO Santa Maria Valley The chardonnays from 2005 were marked by very high natural acidity levels, and the wines stubbornly refused to go through the acidity softening malo-lactic fermentation. The naturally occurring bacteria that cause this fermentation dislike very acidic conditions, so I went through a knock-down drag-out fight to get them to complete the malo-lactic. They did not cooperate, though fortunately all the mixing and stirring we did to encourage this secondary fermentation imparted a sense of yeasty richness that helps give the wines balance. This chardonnay possesses a dramatic smoky, toasty and lemony aroma, quite different from the usual tropical-fruit character that seems to define Bien Nacido Vineyard. Barrel fermented and aged in older French oak barrels, this very lively wine is the perfect foil for seafood. Although quite tart, it has a toasty rich character that lingers on the palate in a most delightful way.

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The Ojai Vineyard:
The Ojai Vineyard, owned by Adam & Helen Tolmach, works closely with a dozen different vineyards on the Central Coast of California and produces wines from syrah, grenache, mourvedre, pinot noir, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and viognier. About 6000 cases are produced each year, divided between 15 bottlings, most of which are vineyard designated wines. The key to producing special wine is in ... Read more
The Ojai Vineyard, owned by Adam & Helen Tolmach, works closely with a dozen different vineyards on the Central Coast of California and produces wines from syrah, grenache, mourvedre, pinot noir, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and viognier. About 6000 cases are produced each year, divided between 15 bottlings, most of which are vineyard designated wines. The key to producing special wine is in the care taken growing the grapes. There is an inverse relationship between quantity and quality when it comes to grapes, so rather than purchasing ours by the ton, we have long term agreements with our growers to buy the fruit by the acre. This lets us culture the vines and thin the crop to our strict specifications, yet allows the grower to receive a fair return. In the winery we like to watch the development of the wine carefully, yet prefer to do as little as possible. Experience has shown us that the least amount of moving, pumping, fining and filtering is always best. The ultimate objective is to show off the distinctive character of a vineyard site. Read less

Member Reviews for Ojai Chardonnay Santa Maria Valley Bien Nacido Vineyard

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Snooth User: The Red Grape
18290483
3.00 5
05/19/2009

Not a huge fan of Cali Chards, but this bottle was great. It had a nice minerality, just a slight toasty oak to it accompanied by the classic crisp apple and pear flavors. Well done. A tad expensive.



2005 CHARDONNAY BIEN NACIDO Santa Maria Valley The chardonnays from 2005 were marked by very high natural acidity levels, and the wines stubbornly refused to go through the acidity softening malo-lactic fermentation. The naturally occurring bacteria that cause this fermentation dislike very acidic conditions, so I went through a knock-down drag-out fight to get them to complete the malo-lactic. They did not cooperate, though fortunately all the mixing and stirring we did to encourage this secondary fermentation imparted a sense of yeasty richness that helps give the wines balance. This chardonnay possesses a dramatic smoky, toasty and lemony aroma, quite different from the usual tropical-fruit character that seems to define Bien Nacido Vineyard. Barrel fermented and aged in older French oak barrels, this very lively wine is the perfect foil for seafood. Although quite tart, it has a toasty rich character that lingers on the palate in a most delightful way.

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