Noble Vines 2014 Chardonnay, 446, San Bernabe, Monterey
Clone 4 does especially well in Block 46 of the vineyard in the San Bernabe sub-appellation of Monterey, one of the coolest growing regions in California. Hence, the designation “446” on the Noble Vines label. The grapes are crushed at the winery that was built right in the vineyard. Building a winery so close to the grapes underscores Noble Vines’ commitment to preserve the superior qualities produced by its excellent vine stock. One of the best ways to preserve Chardonnay Clone 4’s bright acidity and luscious tropical fruit is to get it to the winery quickly. Grapes are harvested a little riper since they can bring the grapes quickly into the cool shade of the winery. The grapes were gently pressed by winemaker James Ewart, who knows these grapes well: he has made wine there for the better part of two decades. He fermented part of the juice in stainless steel, and part in oak barrels, according to each lot’s acidity level. After fermentation, a portion of the wine underwent malolactic fermentation for added body and complexity. 446 Chardonnay showcases vibrant aromas of ripe peach, citrus, honey and a touch of vanilla, wrapped around juicy flavors of pineapple, honeydew melon and lemon zest, framed by hints of butter and spice on the finish. Medium-bodied with a creamy mid-palate.