The Sand Hill Chardonnay comes from a single plot on their well known Bald Mountain Vineyard located just south of the town of Bonny Doon. The 2014 displays a vibrant light golden yellow core that moves to green and gold reflections on the meniscus. The nose offers well balanced old world aromatics of preserved yellow apple, lemons blossoms, crushed hazelnut, white mushroom, stirred lees, a hint of dried vanilla bean and light delicately nuanced baking spices from a light use of new oak. The palate is medium bodied, a touch of oiliness to the texture, with a perfect tension and freshness that is tough to stop drinking as I write this. The palate has similar flavors to the nose, with additional notes of bosc pear, lemon pith, crushed nuts, subtle chalk and well-integrated oak flavors, all of which is balanced by refreshing acidity. It has has a saline and almost Chablis like oyster shell character evoking memories of Burgundy, which I love, and is a crowd-pleaser for Burgundy lovers and California Chardonnay connoisseurs alike. This wine is young at the moment and gets better and better every minute it is open. After 30 minutes open the wine is on fire, so please do not simply open and consume quickly as the wine needs time to show its best. Also, I must add temperature is key. A Chardonnay like this should not be pulled from the refrigerator and opened as it will be muted, this wine is best served at about cellar temp or a touch below (50-55F). It will drink beautifully when released from the winery in 2016, but the true beauty will arrive in 3-4 years. For those who can wait till 2020-2025 to open this gem will find the wines true peak.
Bald Mountain Vineyard, located in Bonny Doon, is owned and farmed by Jim Beauregard. Planted in 1990, the 40 acre vineyard sits at an elevation of 920 to 1050 feet on a southwest facing slope. Monterey Bay marine influences combine with the rare white sandy Zayante soil to produces wines with minerality and striking acidity. Plantings: 33 acres Chardonnay Clone 4.