A Lush and Lively Chardonnay from California's Central CoastAfter returning to his native California in 1974, following years spent working at the legendary Romanee-Conti and other famous Burgundy estates, John Jensen found and purchased a high-elevation parcel rich with limestone soils near Mt. Harlan in California's San Benito County. His plan was to produce terroir-driven cool-climate Pinot Noir, along with white varietals like Chardonnay, Viognier and Aligote, using a Burgundian philosophy of minimal intervention winemaking. The Calera estate originally consisted of just three Pinot Noir parcels: the Selleck, Reed and Jensen Vineyards. In 1984, Jensen planted his first Chardonnay vineyard of 6 acres. In addition to producing red and white estate wines, Jensen also began working directly with local wine growers, sourcing high quality grapes for his Central Coast AVA range.
The Central Coast Chardonnay 2015 by Calera Wine Company is a 100% Chardonnay made with grapes carefully sourced from different vineyards in California's Central Coast Viticultural Area. The 2015 vintage saw the fourth year of a drought, which drastically reduced yields, resulting in great depth and concentration in the finished wines. The Chardonnay grapes were picked by hand between August 24th and September 25th. The whole grape clusters were pressed and the juice moved by gravity to the barrel cellar, where alcoholic fermentation took place using indigenous yeasts in barrels, followed by complete malolactic fermentation. The wine was matured for 10 months in French oak barrels, of which 10% were new and the wines were left alone, without being racked, during this time. The wines from the different vineyard plots were blended before bottling.
The Central Coast Chardonnay 2015 by Calera Wine Company is a succulent and rich Californian wine with aromas of tangerine, Meyer lemon, gardenia, pear and Marcona almond seducing the nose after just one sniff. The palate is very flavorful, lively and lush, with a subtle minerality and hints of citrus. A great balance between zingy freshness and richesse is achieved on the palate, which continues to charm into a long, clean finish.
Wine Advocate-Parker :
The 2015 Chardonnay Central Coast 40th Anniversary Vintage offers up notes of buttered orchard fruit, apricots, fresh peach and honey. On the palate, it's medium-bodied, luscious and ample, with nice concentration and a bright line of acidity, concluding with a crisp, pure finish. It's a great value and probably best enjoyed in the next 2 or 3 years.