2015 Cambria Chardonnay Benchbreak Vineyard

Year: 2015
Appellation: Santa Maria Valley
Country: USA - California
Wine Spectator: 88
Wine Advocate: 91
Vinous Media: 88
Jeb Dunnuck: 88--Wine Enthusiast: 88
White Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.6%
Price :
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"Fruity, with flavors of baked apple, ripe pear and ginger that are well-balanced. Savory and buttery notes show on the finish. Drink now. 50,000 cases made.–KM " (WS)

"The 2015 Chardonnay Bench Break offers up notes of ripe apricots, honeydew melon and grapefruit with touches of brioche and toasted almonds. Medium-bodied, it has a pleasantly creamy texture with tons of stone fruit and citrus flavors, finishing long. Awesome value! And with a production level of 77,500 cases, there’s plenty of this amazing value wine to go around." (WA)

"Cambria's 2015 Chardonnay Benchbreak is an attractive wine to drink now and over the next few years. Subtle and understated, it has a lovely flintiness that plays off the pastry, lemon peel, white flower, almond and mint flavors." (VM)

"Showing plenty of reductive qualities on the nose, the 2015 Chardonnay Benchbreak is fruit forward, nicely textured and charming on the palate, with plenty of texture. I expect it would improve with a vigorous decant." (JD)

"A campfire smoke scent kicks off and dominates the nose of this wine, along with dried lemon peel, toasted cashew and a tangerine rind touch. It's very familiar and easy to enjoy with its dominant citrus- and stonefruit-laced smoke flavor." (WE)

Winery Notes:
Katherine’s Vineyard is a cool, coastal growing site that consists of ancient fossilized seashells, shale, limestone and sand. This unique piece of the Cambria estate sits 400-800 feet above sea level on raised benchland, which serves as the namesake of this wine, and overlooks Santa Maria Valley before plunging down to the Sisquoc River. The fog-swept vines have endured since the 1970s, thriving in the cool, maritime influences that funnel in from the Pacific Ocean, and allow for the longest growing season in the state. Since 2009, all the grapes from our Estate Vineyards have been certified Sustainable under the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance’s certified California Sustainable Winegrower (CCSW) program. We have also been SIP (Sustainable in Practice) certified since 2011.

The 2015 growing season started with a mild winter, then continued into a cool spring, and ended with a very warm summer. Due to the warm temperatures in the winter, the vines experienced an early bud break and the hot summer weather resulted in a very early harvest, beginning on August 3. The grapes had nice ripe flavors and the wines are showing vibrant flavors and aromas, good structure, and texture.

Try our Benchbreak Chardonnay with shellfish, especially cracked crab with drawn butter and scallop dishes, or with poultry such as roasted or grilled chicken. It also pairs well with cow’s milk cheeses including mild cheddar, Comte, Gruyere, Brie and Camembert or triple crème.