2017 Beringer Chardonnay Luminus

Year: 2017
Appellation: Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley
Country: USA - California
Wine Spectator: 90
Wine Advocate: 92
Vinous Media: 92
James Suckling: 93
Jeb Dunnuck: 92
White Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.8%
Price :
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"A vibrant style, with notes of flint and slate to the honeysuckle, green peach and dried citrus flavors. Hints of fennel show on the finish. Drink now through 2023. 4,912 cases made. -KM" (WS)

"Aged in 50% French oak and 50% Hungarian oak (53% new) for nine months, the 2017 Chardonnay Luminus opens with honeydew melons, green guava and toasty oak scents with touches of spice cake and lemon meringue pie. Medium-bodied with a beautiful satiny texture, it has loads of subtle nuances and a refreshing finish. 4,912 cases produced, to be released in September 2019." (WA)

"The 2017 Chardonnay Luminus is done in a brighter, fresher style than the flagship Private Reserve Chardonnay. Much of that can be attributed to the cooler microclimate of the Big Ranch Road property in Oak Knoll. The Luminus is aged in equal parts French and Hungarian oak, the latter used for an accent of spice to complement the citrus and floral notes that are typical of this wine." (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)

"Peach pit, passion fruit, citrus rind and hints of dried mangoes. Full body and lots of fleshy tropical and stone fruit that’s threaded together by bright acidity into an oily core and medium-long finish." (JS)

"From a single vineyard in Oak Knoll, the 2017 Chardonnay Luminus is made as a counterpart to the Reserve and is a leaner, crisp, Chablis-like effort. White flowers, tart citrus, and crushed rock notes all emerge from this nicely balanced, medium-bodied effort that has some appealing reductive and mineral characteristics. Brought up in equal parts French and Hungarian oak (53% new), it’s another terrific white from this team that’s well worth your time and money." (JD)

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.