2015 Chapel View Chardonnay - Riverbench Vineyard & Winery
Baked apple, spring jasmine, lemon meringue. Sliced peach, crushed clove, citrus zest. Honeysuckle and hay stack, ground nutmeg and wood spice. Perfectly curvy without a hint of flab - radiating warm pineapple and cinnamon poached pear in a bright expression of lean decadence. Subtly round on the palate with notes of croissant, cashew, and creme fraiche, hinting at completed malolactic fermentation, light bâtonnage, and a touch of new oak. Saline river stones and sandy soils pulse energy underneath the juicy fruit, providing focused complexity and mineral grip behind the suave sex-appeal. Well balanced and just plain yummy, sitting at a fresh and sprightly 13.2% ABV with a backbone of clean refreshing acidity. This 2015 Chapel View Chardonnay by Riverbench Vineyard & Winery is a terrifically delicious terroir-expressive Santa Barbara Chardonnay.
Chardonnay is produced in a plethora of different styles in California, but "California Style Chardonnay" will probably always refer to more ripe and lush iterations of the varietal. This wine, crafted using 100% Chardonnay from the Chapel View Block of the Riverbench Vineyard in the Santa Maria Valley, captures the essence of the Golden State but does so in a wonderfully balanced and unique way. While packed full of gorgeously expressive fruit this wine finds its identity not in ripeness or sappy saturation, but rather in the expression of its cool maritime climate and oceanic soils. It is beautifully layered and multidimensional, showcasing delightfully restrained and excellently executed winemaking. This Chardonnay neither runs from nor sells-out to its California roots and has impressed us with its character and authenticity. Excellent.