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2021 Grace Benoist Ranch Carneros Estate Grown Chardonnay

2021 Grace Benoist Ranch Carneros Estate Grown Chardonnay

Etude

2021 Grace Benoist Ranch Carneros Estate Grown Chardonnay

$40.00
Bottle
Price $40.00
$480.00
Case (12)
Price $480.00

Tasting Notes

From six special acres in the heart of the Grace Benoist Ranch, our estate Chardonnay is a beautiful example of everything Carneros has to offer. Lively, fresh, and vibrant, this Chardonnay is truly exemplary of elegance and grace, crafted intentionally to showcase the expressive fruit and terroir, so there is no malolactic fermentation, and a delicate touch of oak. Lifted floral notes of honeysuckle, Meyer lemon, and vanilla, waft from the fragrant bouquet, while flavors of zesty, fresh-cut apple, honeydew melon, Bartlett pair, and graham cracker pie crust, intermingle on the palate. Luscious and creamy in texture, with a stony minerality, and pleasing freshness, a signature from Grace Benoist Ranch, demonstrates a lovely, mouth-watering backbone of crisp acidity. The finish is clean and long, delighting the palate, and inviting sip after sip.

Technical Information

Varietal Chardonnay
Vintage 2021
Appellation Carneros
Blend 100% Chardonnay
Oak Treatment 100% neutral French oak barrels for 8 months
Alcohol % 13.6%
pH 3.37

Scores & Accolades

  • 94
    “Aromatic and clear with lilac and lightly cooked apple pie. Some cream, too. Medium-bodied, this starts off slowly on the palate and then runs into the finish with phenolic tension, showing apple and light vanilla bean.” - James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com

Winemaking

The fruit for our Carneros Estate Chardonnay was harvested at night and gently whole-cluster pressed before being transferred to neutral French oak barrels for fermentation. The wine was bottled after 8 months of maturation, with a periodic stirring of the yeast lees for the initial two months of aging to enhance aromatics and increase mid-palate texture. Our Chardonnay is crafted to showcase the unique terroir of Grace Benoist Ranch and did not go through malolactic fermentation in order to preserve the natural acidity and beauty of cool-climate Carneros Chardonnay.

Vintage

The 2021 season was joyous and welcomed after the challenges of previous vintages, producing exceptionally high-quality fruit, some of the best in recent years. Rain early in the year led to almost no notable precipitation for the rest of the season, providing an ideal environment for grapes to flower, bloom, and set in early spring, with budbreak early in April, followed by flowering and bloom in May. The summer saw early and even ripening throughout the valley, with veraison appearing in early July. Low yields (in part due to drought conditions), created fruit that is intensely flavored and smaller in berry size. One of the earliest starts, harvest began with white wine grapes coming in towards late July, while red wine grapes arrived about a month later, at the end of August. With optimal ripening and taste, our winemakers took their time bringing grapes in, crafting wines of fantastic character, with amazing color extraction, aromatic intensity, tremendous balance, and structure, that are equally lush and fruity. A tremendous year to taste the nuances and terroir distinction from around the valley.

Vineyard

An exemplary expression of Grace Benoist Ranch estate vineyard, this wine is a blend of the best blocks on the Ranch, tucked away in the far northwest corner of the Carneros appellation. Unlike most Carneros vineyards, which are largely uplifted bay bottoms with soils composed of clay, the soils of Grace Benoist Ranch are variations of volcanic origin. Combining these well-drained, rocky upland soils with the extreme western location closer to San Pablo Bay, makes this cooler site an ideal place to grow Burgundian varieties. Vineyard blocks are individually managed to conform to various soil types and the changing contours of the hillside topography. Individual vineyards within Grace Benoist Ranch average only eight acres in size, and spacing is dense to ensure low per vine yields of fully concentrated fruit. As stewards of the property, Etude remains steadfast in our commitment to adhere to sustainable agricultural practices that enable us to farm in concert with the surrounding environment. Wildlife corridors, raptor roosts and owl boxes are abundant throughout the Ranch.