2016 Beringer Chardonnay Luminus

Year: 2016
Appellation: Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley
Country: USA - California
Wine Spectator: 91
Wine Advocate: 89
Vinous Media: 92
Connoisseurs' Guide: 91
James Suckling: 92
White Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.8%
Price :
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"Rich and plush, this has plenty of buttery notes to the ripe apple, pear and dried ginger flavors. Creamy finish. Drink now through 2020. 12,000 cases made. -KM" (WS)

"The 2016 Chardonnay Luminus has an exuberant tropical nose bursting with pineapple and guava over hints of butterscotch, croissant and beeswax. The medium to full-bodied palate is packed with vibrant flavors, supported by a racy backbone and finishing with a toasty edge. 12,300 cases were made." (WA)

"Beringer's Chardonnay Luminus is done in a relatively fresh style that emphasizes more citrus notes, with only a touch of new oak. Partially blocked malolactic fermentation keeps the flavors bright. Even with this more restrained approach, there is a good bit of weight and depth." (VM)

"GOOD VALUE, A more open and immediately inviting bottling than its fancier mate just below, Luminous joins that wine is wanting a bit of cellar time, but less of it, and thus can be enjoyed now for its youthful vigor or set aside for a year or two to let its quietly complexing notes come into fuller view. It shares its mates' drift into viscosity but does not get soft and instead comes with a smooth, polished palate feel balanced by youthful energy. And given the prices of top Chardonnays these days, it is exceptionally priceworthy. Reviewed: July 2018" (CG)

"Attractive freshness and gently flinty citrus fruits. Aromas of melon and hazelnut nougat follow and lead to a palate with lemon, grapefruit, grilled peaches and nectarines. Layered and textural. Some pithy grip to close. This has attractive freshness and composure. Drink now." (JS)

Winery Notes:
Vineyard Notes:
Luminus is a single-vineyard Chardonnay from Beringer’s Big Ranch Vineyard in the Oak Knoll AVA. Located on the valley floor and at the southern end of the Napa Valley, Big Ranch is an ideal location for this style of Chardonnay owing to the cooling influence of the San Pablo Bay, preserving nice acidity and minerality in the grapes. A selection of Burgundian clones that showed excellent early development provide an elegant complexity and fruit weight to the blend.

Vintage Notes:
The extended drought was beginning to cause real concern as the 2016 growing season kicked off, but some welcomed winter rain hinted at the relief to come. After a relatively dry January we enjoyed significant rainfall in February, along with mild temperatures. Bud break was early, but was slowed by heavy April showers. While still early by historical standards, picking began about a week later than 2015, and continued at a leisurely pace, allowing the grapes to reach full flavor maturity. A traditionally sized harvest followed the lighter showing of 2015, and the extended season helped to balance the acids and add complexity to the layers of flavors.

Winemaking Notes:
Each Chardonnay lot was kept separate throughout the aging process. After sending the fruit directly to press, the juice was fermented in seasoned French oak barrels (45 percent new). The lees were stirred every other week to integrate the subtle oak notes and develop a polished texture. Winemaking is focused on showcasing the unique characteristics of Oak Knoll Chardonnay at the highest level, and achieved that with the final blend made after 10 months of aging in barrels.