"From 40-year-old vines, the 2017 Chardonnay Bien Nacido Vineyard has a very pretty, giving nose of sweet hay, toast, toasted hazelnut, pastry crust, yellow peach, baked apple pie, baker's yeast and stony hints. Medium to full-bodied, it has a great core of warm spiced fruit with a creamy texture and long, mineral-driven finish. 829 cases produced. "Actually, it was a nice cool growing season," Gavin Chanin says of the 2017 vintage, "even though we had that historic heat wave. I've never seen anything like it. It was around 120 degrees in Los Alamos. We had just finished picking the Pinot Noir the day before the heat. I had that feeling you get when you’ve almost had an accident and you get that adrenaline rush. I felt like I had avoided disaster. For me, this is an elegant, floral vintage, but you had to beat the heat. I looked at some neighbor's vines after the heat to see the affect—grapes were 2.5 brix higher than they were two days earlier. All my fruit was in except for some Chardonnay, which did fine weathering through that heat. It was Sanford & Benedict vineyard, and it was like 19 or 20 brix before the heat. So it did OK. We picked everything in a week, and all the fruit was in so quick. I would definitely be shocked if it wasn't kind of a tale of two vintages. Similar to 2010, a cool beautiful year but also with a big heat wave." The Chanin wines (3,500 annual case production) incorporate about 10% to 20% new oak across the board, and some whole cluster is used. "I love stems, but I don't want to taste them in the wine," Gavin says. "To me, that would make the wine more about winemaking than site. I enjoy drinking oaky and stemmy wines, but that's not what I'm after for these wines.""
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