2016 Lucia Chardonnay Soberanes Vineyard

Year: 2016
Appellation: Santa Lucia Highlands
Country: USA-California
Wine Spectator: 90
Vinous Media: 94
Connoisseurs' Guide: 90
Jeb Dunnuck: 94
White Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.1%
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"Well-sculpted and redolent of baked pear, with apple and pastry flavors that are well-spiced. The creamy finish is broad-textured and features nutmeg accents. Drink now through 2021. 190 cases made. -KM " (WS)

"Bright straw-yellow. A highly complex, mineral-accented bouquet evokes fresh citrus and orchard fruits, toasted brioche and white flowers, and a hint of oyster shell emerges with air. Shows excellent depth and delineation, offering vibrant tangerine, pear, sweet butter and anise flavors that firm up slowly on the back half. Powerful yet graceful in character, displaying superb detail and thrust on a strikingly long finish that features lingering floral and mineral notes." (VM)

"Forcefully fragrant and immediately conveying a wealth of concentrated, keenly focused, fully ripe apple-like fruit with highlights of vanillin oak, stony soil and a custard-like richness signaling additional complexity to come, this impressively stuffed youngster is a deeply satisfying reminder that the Santa Lucia Highlands can excel with varieties other the Pinot Noir and Syrah. And, despite its obvious richness, it is a very solidly structured Chardonnay that will have more to say if allowed to sit for a few years. Reviewed: November 2018" (CG)

"More intense and flamboyant, the 2016 Chardonnay Soberanes Vineyard boasts awesome notes of white citrus and pineapple, with subtle brioche and marzipan developing with time in the glass. It’s textured, medium to full-bodied, and concentrated, yet incredibly elegant as well." (JD)

Winery Notes:
The 2016 VINTAGE:
After a difficult 2015 harvest and years of prolonged drought, the 2016 vintage saw beautiful weather conditions and a welcomed average yield of fruit. Rain returned to Monterey County in the beginning of the 2016 season (approximately 12 inches, the most our area has seen since 2011). Budbreak began the second week in March and vines showed more life and energy due to the early-season soil moisture. Strong vine growth required additional labor to tend to the shoots. Summer saw a balanced fruit set and weather conditions typical of the windy, fog-blanketed Santa Lucia Highlands. August temperatures were cooler than average which allowed for a slow, gentle ripening up to harvest. Patience was necessary for harvest—it began the first week of September and continued through the first week of October.

The Vineyard:
The Soberanes Vineyard is the latest joint venture between the Pisoni and Franscioni families. Situated on the Santa Lucia Highlands bench adjacent to the Garys’ Vineyard and named “one of the appellation’s most esteemed properties” by the Wine Enthusiast, the site features tightly spaced vines and is planted to 33 acres of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah. The clonal material planted in the loamy, rocky soil is very diverse and features over a dozen of the most renowned heritage selections from California and Burgundy.

The Winemaking:
The Pisoni Family is committed to raising and hand-crafting exceptional wines. The limited-production Lucia wines are created using classic, gentle and thoughtful winemaking techniques. Hand-picked and sorted grapes are fermented on native yeasts and aged in carefully selected French oak barrels. Our state-of-the-art winemaking facility uses gravity flow as part of a custom design conceived to merge the estate vineyards and winery. This affords us complete control of the farming and winemaking process, ensuring consistently superior quality.

Tasting Notes:
This lively wine opens up quickly with an elegant bouquet of spring flowers, peach skin, key lime, sea breeze, and stone fruit, as well as hints of crushed rock from its origin in our mineral-driven Soberanes Vineyard. Aging for 16 months in 60-gallon and larger barrels, the resulting wine is both pure and focused, with beautifully integrated acidity and oak. Lucia Soberanes Chardonnay is greenish-gold in hue and comprised of various Wente and other “suitcase” clones of chardonnay that yield small quantities but intense character. This wine has great volume and lots of length on the palate and will gain depth as it ages. It drinks well now, and also has the ability to age beyond a decade.