2018 Ojai Vineyard Chardonnay Bien Nacido Vineyard

Year: 2018
Appellation: Santa Barbara County
Country: USA-California
White Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 13.0%
Price :

Winery Notes:
You can always count on Bien Nacido Chardonnay having loads to show about a vintage. In 2018 it felt as if time had rewound back to the ‘00s. Winter was cold and provided generous rainfall. Then the transition to Spring was cold and wet also, so the vines got started late. Then predominately mild weather throughout Summer and Fall made for harvest dates about a month later than the previous few years.

This 2018 manifests all that cooler weather with a more serious, earthy kind of expression. Especially when compared to the flirtier and slightly tropical profile of the 2017. This wine ups the gravitas with a kind of flinty minerality girdling the wine’s powerful fruit. Stepping entirely away from tropical fruit, the profile here speaks to temperate coastal orchards. More apple and pear, accented by scents of fresh flowers and that curious bee pollen note we sometimes get here.

It’s fairly in step with the 2016, or perhaps even the 2010. There’s a strong, Chablisienne tension to the wine, which almost creaks in the mouth as the minerally structure shifts shape. A nice wash of lemon curd brings weight and resolves the wine’s tension, while minerals and toasty lees surge into the fresh and saline finish.

That’s all great for earlier drinking if you’re a fan of more acid-driven white Burgundy, in which case you won’t regret cracking this soon. It will continue to develop for several years though, and will relax and flesh out into a creamier flow by 2022. Have it your way.